Liverpool’s first Champions League knock-out fixture since 2009
Last updated: February 13, 2018 by Leon Marshal
|Venue:||Estádio do Dragão|
|Home Team Form:||WWDWW|
|Away Team Form:||WLWDW|
|Last Meeting:||Liverpool 4-1 Porto|
Another enticing tie in the Champions League knockout stage is the match between FC Porto and Liverpool. Porto are unbeaten in their domestic league, but they don’t face the types of challenges that the Champions League throws up at them. Liverpool are unbeaten in the competition and are the second highest scoring team, behind only PSG.
FC Porto haven’t lost in the Primeira Liga this season, but they didn’t have it all their own way in the group stages of this competition. Coming in second behind Besiktas, Porto now face one of the tournament’s most dangerous teams. Vincent Aboubakar is the main man at the moment. The Cameroonian scored five times and assisted twice in the group stage, while he also has 26 goals in 32 games in all competitions. Porto fans will be sweating on the striker’s fitness though, as he is a slight doubt for this game. They will also be without the important midfielder Danilo, who picked up at injury last month. The problem Porto have is that the Champions League is a big step up from the challenges they face each week domestically. Despite being unbeaten domestically this season, they lost two of their six Champions League games, shipping ten goals in the process. Whether they can rise to the occasion is the question then, but with the home fans behind them, Porto should start this game on the front foot.
This is the first time Liverpool have been at this stage of the competition since 2009, where they were knocked out by Chelsea in a captivating tie over two legs that ended up 7-5 to the Blues. Liverpool were the victors the last time these two teams met however, winning 4-1 in a Champions League fixture back in 2007, after drawing the first leg 1-1. It’s a big occasion for fans and players then, but Liverpool should be up to the job. The front three oozes class and are meant to play at this stage, while it will also be a big game for Virgil van Dijk, with the Dutchman getting his wish of playing in the Champions League. Jürgen Klopp is also well experienced at this level and should not be intimidated. While a tricky fixture, this is definitely a winnable one for Liverpool, who should have enough to go through over two legs. It’s likely that Klopp will field the same team that won at Southampton at the weekend, with the manager saying he will stick with goalkeeper Karius.
Porto could be without Aboubakar, their top scorer, with the striker a doubt for the match
Two of Porto’s new signings from last month, Majeed Waris and Yordan Osorio, have been added to the Champions League squad.
With no fresh injuries, the question for Klopp is whether to stick or twist with his team selection, largely in defence, where he often rotates.
Klopp has announced that goalkeeper Karius will start, as many questioned whether Mignolet would feature in Champions League games.
|Porto (4-3-3):||Casillas, Telles, Marcano, Reyes, Layun, Torres, Perira, Brahimi, Marega, Aboubakar|
|Subs:||José Sá, Pereira, André André, Hernâni, Otávio, Tiquinho Soares|
|Doubtful:||Aboubakar, André André, Marcano|
|Liverpool (4-3-3):||Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mané|
|Subs:||Lovren, Milner, Moreno, Lallana, Mignolet, Ings, Solanke|
So Far In The Champions League
|2 (1)||Wins (away)||2 (1)|
|5 – 2 vs. Monaco||Biggest Win||7 – 0 vs. Maribor|
|0 (1)||Draws (away)||1 (2)|
|1 – 3 vs Besiktas||Biggest Defeat||—|
|Vincent Aboubakar (5)||Top Goal Scorer||Roberto Firmino (6)|
|Y12, R1||Discipline||Y9, R1|
|0||Failures to Score||0|
|80%||Both Teams to Score Games||66%|
|80%||Over 2.5 Goals||80%|
|20%||Under 2.5 Goals||20%|
- Porto are unbeaten domestically, though the Portuguese league doesn’t offer the sorts of challenges as the teams in the Premier League that Liverpool face each week.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in the tournament, though they did get off to a slow start with two draws. They’ve also scored at least once in every game.
- All but one of Porto’s games featured both teams to score and over 2.5 goals. With Liverpool having similar stats, we could see goals here.
- Roberto Firmino is the second highest scorer in the competition, while Mo Salah also has five goals. Those two are deadly at the moment and will be the biggest handful for the Porto defence.
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Both teams will be cautious going into this one. FC Porto can look forward to taking the initiative with the first leg being at home, but Liverpool, though aware of how tricky this tie could be, will be somewhat happy with this tie, as they could have faced Bayern Munich, Juventus or Real Madrid at this stage.
Porto’s defence hasn’t been able to cope in the Champions League and we see them struggling here against a pacey Liverpool attack. But, Porto will also be dangerous and we see goals in this one. Both teams to score or over 2.5 goals seems a good shout in a match featuring two attacking teams. You can get these bets at Coral.