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SA SOCCER NEWS
McCarthy ready for tough challenge 21/04/04
Benni McCarthy believes Porto are proof that Europes smaller guns can compete with the giants of the game.

Porto take on Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday in a Uefa Champions League semifinal first leg.

"It's a long season and when a big team wins a game, that is only considered normal," McCarthy told BBC Sport.

"That means smaller clubs have everything to play for and nothing to lose. There is no pressure on them."

The South African international, who scored both goals as his club shocked Manchester United in the last 16, is expecting a titanic battle with the Spaniards.

"Deportivo have been one of the strongest teams in the Champions League this season and Spanish sides have had an excellent record in this competition over recent years.

"Our trainer Jose Mourinho is familiar with them from his time at Barcelona when he worked under Louis van Gaal.

"They don't like to be pressurised. They like freedom on the ball. Once you allow them to play football that is when you make your biggest mistake. If you don't give them space then you have a good chance of beating them.

"There are no favourites in this game. We have knocked out the French champions Lyon, the English champions Manchester United and we qualified from the same group as Real Madrid.

"Deportivo have also done well in knocking out Juventus and AC Milan."

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