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Porto Aiming to Make Home Advantage Count
13 February 2018, 15:10
Porto Aiming to Make Home Advantage Count

The Champions League is back this week and one of the most intriguing ties is between Porto and Liverpool, with the first leg taking place in Portugal on Wednesday night.

Porto qualified for the knockout stages by finishing second in Group G, 4 points off group winners Besiktas.  It was an even group in terms of the standard of teams involved and Porto will be pleased to have progressed at the expense of RB Leipzig and Monaco.

Liverpool topped Group E and it was little surprise to see them finish above Sevilla, Spartak Moscow and Maribor.

Trends show Porto come into this match in good form and have won each of their last three games in all competitions.  There have been wins over Sporting Braga at home in the Primeira Liga, Sporting Lisbon at home in the Taca de Portugal and Chaves 4-0 away from home in the Primeira Liga on the weekend.

You must go back to the Champions League match at RB Leipzig on the 17th October to find the last time Porto lost a match inside 90 minutes. Their only defeat has come on penalties against Sporting Lisbon after the Taca de Liga semi-final finished 0-0.

At home, Porto have been in excellent form, winning thirteen and drawing two of their last fifteen matches in all competitions.  They have won each of their last eight home games and have scored 3 or more goals in six of them.

Liverpool travel to the Estadio Do Dragao on the back of a 2-0 win at struggling Southampton in the Premier League on the weekend.

That result means Liverpool are unbeaten in their last three matches, having also defeated Huddersfield Town 3-0 away from home and been held to a 2-2 draw at home by Tottenham Hotspur, each of which were in the Premier League.

Away from home, Liverpool have lost just one of their last nine games in all competitions, which was a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Swansea City in the Premier League.  Away form in the Champions League this season has been decent, with wins in Hoffenheim and Maribor plus draws at Spartak Moscow and Sevilla.

Team news and Porto will be without the suspended Felipe but are hopeful Ivan Marcano will be fit enough to take his place in the heart of the defence.  Vincent Aboubakar, Danilo Pereira and Andre are all carrying knocks and will be assessed before the game.

Liverpool have Emre Can suspended so expect to see Jordan Henderson in the centre of midfield for the visitors. This is likely to be the only change to the team which defeated Southampton on the weekend.

Much will depend on which Liverpool turn up to this game as to which way the result will go.  If it is the team which lost at Swansea, they could be in trouble but if they can play as they did in the win over Manchester City, they could take a lead to Anfield.

Whatever happens in terms of the result, we should see goals and over 2.5 goals is a distinct possibility.

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2nd Qualifying Round
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3rd Qualifying Round
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