13th of February 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Liverpool travel to Portugal on Wednesday as they face FC Porto at Estadio do Dragao in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie. The two teams last met in the group stage of this competition back in 2007, and Liverpool won 4-1 at home after a 1-1 draw in Portugal. Before that, the two sides clashed in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in 2001 and back then Liverpool prevailed with a 2-0 victory at home after a goalless draw away. So, Porto have never beaten Liverpool, but on the other hand the Reds never managed to win at Estadio do Dragao.
FC Porto had to fight hard for qualification in Group G, they finished second behind surprising group winners Besiktas but ahead of RB Leipzig and Monaco. They lost just one of their three home matches in the group stage and won the other two. Right now they are on a three-match winning streak in all competition and they are leading the table in the Portuguese league. They will have some absences in this match as Felipe is suspended and Ivan Marcano, Vincent Aboubakar, Danilo Pereira and Andre Andre are all injury doubts.
Liverpool finished at the top of the table in Group E and ended the group stage undefeated, but with just three wins out of six matches. However, they scored no less than 23 goals in the six group matches, 11 of them away from home. Last weekend they secured a 2-0 victory at Southampton to preserve their third place in the Premier League table but also to move just two points behind second-placed Manchester City. Emre Can is suspended for this match, while Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne might not be fit enough to play.
FC Porto: Casillas - Pereira, Reyes, Marcano, Telles - Corona, Herrera, Oliveira, Brahimi - Soares, Marega
Liverpool: Karius - Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson - Wijnaldum, Henderson, Chamberlain - Salah, Firmino, Mane
My prediction: 2-2 draw.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
FC Porto win - 3.10
Draw - 3.60
Liverpool win - 2.37
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We certainly expected Liverpool to be favourites in that one with the current form them showing in the Premier League but 5-0 away for sure overcame their wildest dreams about this one.
Klopp could use the second match for some experiments giving more time to some of his not starting 11 players and I think he'll use that opportunity.
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