UEFA Champions League
Kick Off: Wednesday, 10 April at 12.30 AM IST
Free UEFA Champions League Picks Liverpool vs. Porto
Liverpool welcome Porto for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals clash in the Champions League on Tuesday at Anfield. After their victory over Bayern in the last 16 of the competition the Red are favourites to go through to the semi-finals. FC Porto, on the other hand, have never faced an opponent more without winning in the Champions League than Liverpool (four games), also failing in four matches against Zenit St Petersburg and Juventus. Porto have failed to win any of their last 12 away knockout games in the Champions League (D4 L8) since a 1-0 victory at Deportivo La Coruna back in May 2004. The winner of the tie will be play Manchester United or FC Barcelona in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Liverpool still remain contenders for the Premier League and Champions League, having reached the finals last year. Jurgen Klopp’s side lead the Premier League by two points but have played a game more then City and should the Citizens win against Crystal Palace on Sunday they will lead by a point. The Reds will need to defend well to insure they don’t concede a home goal, which could be handy for them in the Second-Leg. FC Porto were eliminated by Liverpool in the Champions League last season at the Last 16 stage, losing 0-5 on aggregate, though the second leg at Anfield did end goalless. Once again, Liverpool attacking trio – Mane, Firmino and Salah will be crucial to Liverpool’s chances; Sadio Mane has been in Scintillating form this season – scoring 13 goals in his 19 games so far. Experienced players Milner and Henderson have played their roles well in the competition so far. Dutchmen Van Dijk has been rock solid at the back this season and Liverpool fans will expect no less from the former Southampton player. Left-back Andy Robertson is suspended and will not play a part in Tuesday’s encounter versus Porto. Meanwhile, veteran midfielder James Milner is expected to be fit in time for the match.
All the odd are against Porto especially playing away from home and their record against Liverpool, but things can change quickly in football. It is their opponents who will be in pressure not them, if Porto can even salvage a draw at Anfield they would believe they can cause an upset at Estadio do Dragao. Sergio Conceicao’s men have found the net in all of their Champions League matches this term, averaging two goals a game on the road in Europe.The Portuguese champions have failed to score in just three of their 48 fixtures in all competitions this season. The Reds defence has been without a clean sheet in their last five games and this were Porto’s will believe they have an opportunity. Porto goalkeeper – Iker Casillas will need to be at his best in front of Salah and co and his experience will be vital to Porto’s chances. Alex Telles will be assessed before the match, having missed the derby game against Boavista, Pepe and Hector Herrera are both suspended.
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Liverpool have never lost a European match against FC Porto in six previous encounters (W3 D3 L0)
Liverpool midfielder James Milner has recorded 10 Champions League assists since the beginning of last season, more than any other player. Indeed, since 2003/04, only three other Englishman have registered double figures for assists for a single side in the competition (Frank Lampard – Chelsea, Wayne Rooney – Manchester United and Steven Gerrard – Liverpool).
Porto striker Moussa Marega is looking to become just the fourth different player in Champions League history to score in seven successive matches in the competition, after Edinson Cavani, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has scored 69% of his Champions League goals in the knockout stages of the competition (9/13); of players with at least 10 goals, only Ivica Olic (7/10 – 70%) has a higher such percentage in Champions League history.
Liverpool 3 – 1 Porto