UEFA Champions League: FC Porto vs AS Roma preview


AS Roma are looking to defend a slim advantage when they visit FC Porto at Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday evening for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League last-sixteen tie. The Italians won the first leg 2-1, youngster Nicolo Zaniolo scored twice to put them ahead but Adrian clawed one back for Porto and his away goal could prove vital in the second leg. The two teams had last met at the play-off stage of the Champions League in 2016 and FC Porto pulled through with a 3-0 away victory after a 1-1 draw at home. Before that they had only met in the 1981 edition of the Cup Winners' Cup and FC Porto won that tie after a 2-0 home victory and a goalless draw in Italy.

FC Porto have a slight disadvantage from the first leg but the away goal scored at the Olympic Stadium in Rome would allow them to qualify with a narrow 1-0 victory. Their confidence is not at the highest level, though, because last week they lost 2-1 at home against rivals Benfica in the Portuguese league and dropped to second place in the table. That result was a huge blow for Porto, more so because they had opened the scoring through Adrian in the first half. Vincent Aboubakar is the only injury concern for the home side, but Jesus Manuel Corona is available again after having missed the first leg through suspension.

AS Roma had their own league setback last weekend, they played the "Derby della Capitale" against rivals Lazio and suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat. That result leaves them in fifth place in the Serie A table, with the race for a top-four place finish tighter than ever. Roma have lost just two of their last twelve matches in all competitions, but both defeats were crushing: 7-1 at Fiorentina in the Italian Cup and last weekend's derby loss. Patrik Schick recovered from injury and even featured against Lazio at the weekend, and defender Kostas Manolas has recovered as well and should be able to play on Wednesday.

Probable line-ups:

Porto: Casillas - Militao, Felipe, Pepe, Telles - Corona, Pereira, Herrera, Brahimi - Marega, Soares

Roma: Olsen - Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov - Cristante, De Rossi, Pellegrini - Zaniolo, Dzeko, El Shaarawy

My prediction: FC Porto to win 2-1, I think this one will go to penalties.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Porto win - 2.05
Draw - 3.70
Roma win - 3.75

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