Liverpool host Porto in the first leg of their quarter final Champions League clash, kicking off at Anfield at 8:00pm local time on Tuesday. The sides met at the round of 16 stage last season, where Liverpool dealt with Porto in the first leg with a 5-0 victory, and will be hoping for a similar outcome this time round.
Home Team: Liverpool
Liverpool are on course for a famous double, which is something they haven’t achieved for over 30 years. With 5 games to go in the Premier League, and potentially another 5 in the Champions League, it is shaping up to be an incredible season for Liverpool. Asking any Liverpool fan the question of ‘Premier League or Champions League?’, and their response would be the former, however, they have a fantastic opportunity to progress through to a semi-final, and be a strong contender for their 6th European crown.
Liverpool edged through their competitive group stage that included Napoli and PSG, and then ousted out Bayern Munich in the first knockout stage, by delivering a professional performance in Munich by winning 3-1. Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah managed to get back to scoring ways this past weekend, and as the pressure was lifted from his shoulders, he’ll want to build from that and get more crucial goals in Europe here.
Away Team: Porto
Just like Liverpool, Porto are involved in a tight title race back in their domestic league, as themselves and Benfica are tied at the top – only separated by goal difference. In the Champions League, Porto are 66/1 outsiders to win the competition, which would be their 3rd ever Champions League success. Porto scraped past Roma in the previous round, thanks to a very late VAR decision going their way at the end of extra time.
Porto have an excellent combination of young and old in their central defensive partnership, as the experienced Pepe will likely will be paired with the athletic Eder Militao, which will try their best to keep Liverpool’s potent attack out. On the attacking front, Porto have the likes of Moussa Marega, who has 6 Champions League goals to his name already this season, with Francisco Soares in excellent form, and they’ll be supported by the trickery and dynamism of Yacine Brahimi. Will they have enough to combat Liverpool?
Head to Head
The sides have met 6 times in their history, and Liverpool have yet to lose a game against Porto. Liverpool have managed to win half of those games, with the other three ending all square. They first met in the UEFA Cup (now Europa League), back in 2001, where after a goalless first leg in Porto, Liverpool won at Anfield to send them to the quarter finals.
Their second meeting came in the group stage in the 2007/2008 season, with the game being all square again in Porto, this time a 1-1 draw, but Liverpool won the game at Anfield 4-1 – both teams qualified from the group. The side’s most recent fixture was last season, where Liverpool recorded an emphatic 5-0 victory at the Estadio da Luz in the first leg, before seeing the draw out at Anfield in a 0-0 draw.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Liverpool vs Porto Predictions and Betting Tips
[geot exclude_country="US,CA" ][/geot]Liverpool are at 3/10 to win on the night, with a draw at 17/4, and Porto are priced at 9/1. You can also bet on teams to qualify instead, with Liverpool at 1/5, with Porto severe underdogs at 10/3. I will expect Porto to put in a real defensive approach here, and escape from this leg with the game still in the balance. Liverpool fans will create a brilliant atmosphere and their recent wins suggest they will win this game, and I am going for a 2-0 score line at 5/1. Mohammed Salah should be the man to back at 4/5 to score at any time, but instead I’d go for Sadio Mane at 11/10 to score at any point during the match.
[geot country="US,CA" ][/geot]Porto will not roll over again for Liverpool, in my opinion, and there is a lot of value of them achieving a positive result for them, so backing them to score 1+ goals is at 10/11, or 2+ goals at 5/1. For them to draw or win, that is priced at a reasonable 5/2. Finally, for the tipsters out there, if you believe Liverpool can repeat their 5-0 success of last season, you may want to back them to score 5+ goals at 17/2.
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