FC Porto vs. Liverpool / Champions League – In this match of the Champions League round of 16 currently leading team of Portuguese championship, Porto, will face third-placed team in the English Premier League, Liverpool. The Reds did better the group phase than Porto, while out of their four previous head-to-head in European competitions Liverpool won two home matches and drew two played in Portugal. Begins: 14.02.2018 – 20:45 CET
True, the two teams met the last time 10 years ago in the group phase of Champions League. In the meantime both teams oscillated a lot in European competitions. Porto qualified for the round of 16 only in the last round of group phase, when it won Monaco at home. At the same time debutant from Germany Leipzig lost to Besitkas at home and will continue competing only in the Europa League, while the Turks had ended at the first place in the group.
Porto’s main objective this season is to finally put an end to Benfica’s four-year long reign in the Portuguese first division, and for the time being everything is going according to plan as Porto is first in the table, although it has just one point more than Benfica and Sporting, which has eliminated them in the meantime from the League Cup, but on the other hand Porto defeated them in the 1st semi-final leg of the Portuguese Cup by 1-0. Let’s add that this duel with the Reds will skip injured midfielders D. Pereira and Andre, and forward Aboubakar, while stopper Felipe is suspended.
Probable lineups FC Porto: Jose Sa – R. Pereira, Reyes, Marcano, Telles – Corona, Herrera, Oliveira, Brahimi – Marega, Soares
The guests from Liverpool are definitely favourites to win this round of 16 match of the Champions League, especially as Porto is maximally focuses this season to win the title in Portuguese championship. Besides, the Reds did much better the group phase of this competition; they ended as first in their group with three wins and three draws. It should be said that only French PSG had scored more goals than they in the group phase.
Liverpool plays better and better in the English championship; in last three rounds it won two and drew one match, which propelled them at the third place in the table, where they have two points fewer than Manchester United and one more than Chelsea and two than Tottenham. Now, they are fully focused on this Champions League match, in which manager Klopp cannot count on suspended midfielder Emre Can, while defenders Clyne and Gomez are not yet full ready.
Probable lineups Liverpool: Karius – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson – Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wijnaldum – Salah, Firmino, Mane
FC Porto – Liverpool PICK
We have already outlined in our analysis that the Reds are favourites to reach the quarter-finals, but we all know that Porto rarely losses at home, which is why we believe it should at least shouldn’t lose the 1st leg.
Pick: Asian handicap +0.5 Porto
Odds: 1.69 at betvictor (down to 1.64 can be played)