UEFA Champions League
Kick Off: Thursday, 18 April at 12.30 AM IST
Stadium: Estádio Do Dragão
Free UEFA Champions League Picks FC Porto vs. Liverpool
Liverpool travel to Porto for the second leg of the quarter-final in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, as they look to book a semi final showdown against Barcelona. The Reds hold a 2-0 advantage going into the match, Sadio Mane was brilliant in last season’s last 16 at Estadio do Dragao and Liverpool would be hoping for the same. Porto, on the other end, will look for an upset and if they can score a goal early in the match then its game on. The Portugal champions should take inspirations from Manchester United and Juventus – Two of the three teams that lost their first leg by 2+ goals in the Last 16 of the Champions League this season managed to turnaround the tie in the second leg; with Manchester United knocking out Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus defeating Atletico Madrid.
FC Porto have lost the first leg of a Champions League/European Cup knockout tie by 2+ goals on six previous occasions, and on all six of those occasions they have been eliminated from the competition. Porto created chances in the first leg at Anfield, which they didn’t score of – but this time they need to score and not concede in front of their home crowd. If they’re to concede a goal they’ll need to score 4 to progress into the semi finals of the competition. Porto are the only remaining side in the Champions League to have won 100% of their home games in the competition this season (4/4). Sérgio Conceição’s side will need to defend well against Firmino, Salah and Mane – Mo Salah scored a stunner against Chelsea in the Premier League; Mane has already had a good record against them and Roberto Firmino was on the scorecard in the first leg. Porto are boosted by the return of former Real Madrid defender Pepe and Hector Herrera after both missed the Anfield clash through suspension.
Liverpool will not take Porto lightly and a 2-0 deficit can be overturned – which has already been done in this season’s Champions League. The Reds will be confident after their victory over Chelsea at the weekend due to which they stand on number one in the Premier League table. Liverpool have progressed from all nine of their previous two-legged European ties under manager Jurgen Klopp (four in the 2015-16 Europa League, one 2017-18 Champions League play-off and four Champions League knockout stage ties since the start of last season). The Reds missed Andy Robertson in the first leg through suspension who is now expected to start on Wednesday. Jurgen Klopp will be without Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, who is sidelined through illness. Meanwhile, Joe Gomez is expected to start in place of Matip alongside Virgil van Dijk. Alex Orlande-Chamberlain is recovering well but will not travel with the team.
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Sadio Mané scored a hat-trick for Liverpool against Porto at Estádio do Dragão in last season’s Champions League; only Luiz Adriano v Bate Borisov and Cristiano Ronaldo against Atlético de Madrid have ever scored more than one hat-trick against an opponent in the Champions League, while no player has ever scored two away from home against one club.
Since the start of the 2017-18 tournament, Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has both scored and assisted in five different Champions League matches, more than any other player in this time.
Moussa Marega has scored in all four of FC Porto’s home Champions League matches this season.
FC Porto 1 – 1 Liverpool