Liverpool v FC Porto Preview – Complacency the Danger

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The Details

 Champions League

Venue – Anfield, Liverpool

Referee – Felix Zwayer (GER)

Date & Time – Tuesday, March 6th 2018 @ 19:45 BST

Current Odds – Liverpool 4/9, Draw 10/3, FC Porto 6/1


Liverpool Form

The Reds are on a four-game winning streak and have kept clean sheets in three of those games. Make no mistake, this team is the strongest it has been since Klopp arrived, and not far off the standard of the 13/14 title challenging side Rodgers put together. With 41 games played in all competitions this season, Liverpool have suffered just five defeats and scored 105 goals along the way. The average xG stats for the season are 2.30 for and 0.9 xGAgainst. Klopp’s win percentage this season is 58.54% in all competitions. The Reds are undefeated in Europe this season.

FC Porto Form

Porto recovered well from the defeat at home to Liverpool on Valentine’s Day. They have won their four games since then, including a vital 2-1 victory over Sporting on Friday night. They have now opened up a five-point gap at the top of the Portuguese Premier Division and look set to win their first league title since 2012/13.

Team News

Liverpool Team News

Klopp has some important decisions to make on Tuesday night. Less than four days after this Champions League tie, Liverpool visit United at Old Trafford. I hope Karius starts as it will do no-one any good to mess around with the whole Karius/Mignolet situation by giving the Belgian ‘keeper another start.

In defence, Gomez has an ideal chance to make his first start for a few games while I think van Dijk may be rested for the United game with Matip and Klavan starting in central defence. Moreno will most likely start at left-back as it seems Robertson may be rested for the weekend seeing as he is the first-choice left-back at the club, now.

I expect Henderson to get some more much-needed game time, along with Lallana, while Wijnaldum should start if he has recovered from his illness.

Salah and Firmino may be on the bench in case of an emergency on Tuesday so I hope it’s a front-three of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Solanke, and Mané.

Liverpool’s Top 3 Rated Players this season ( – 10 appearances or more)

  1. M. Salah  ———-  7.73
  2. V. van Dijk  ——-  7.62
  3. R. Firmino  ——-  7.47

FC Porto Team News

Porto are more than likely going to be without Telles, Soares and Fabiano. Dalot should replace Telles at left-back while top-scorer, Aboubakar, will most likely be in instead of the injured Soares. Aboubakar was injured for the first leg in Portugal in mid-February and has only recently returned to first-team action.

FC Porto’s Top 3 Rated Players this season ( – 10 appearances or more)

  1. A. Telles  ———-  8.03
  2. Y. Brahimi  ——–  7.87
  3. M. Marega  ——–  7.78

Predicted XIs

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Karius; Gomez, Matip, Klavan, Moreno; Henderson(c), Wijnaldum, Lallana; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Solanke, Mané

FC Porto (4-4-2) – Casillas; Pereira, Reyes, Marcano, Dalot; Corona, Herrera(c), Oliveira, Brahimi; Aboubakar, Marega

When they last met

The first leg in Porto was Liverpool’s very own version of the Valentine’s Day massacre. Porto, undefeated and five points clear at the top of  Liga NOS, were taken apart in front of their own fans. Sergio Conceicao’s team could not cope with the frenetic style of the Reds and the pace of Mané and Salah. It finished 5-0 to the Reds after a Mané hat-trick and goals from Firmino and Salah.


Liverpool 3 – 1 FC Porto

It’s always difficult to predict these games when the tie is considered to already have been decided after a first-leg hammering. I fancy Porto to nick a consolation goal at Anfield but Liverpool and Klopp will want to keep their form and momentum going with another win before their crucial visit to Old Trafford next Saturday. Back Liverpool to win and both teams to score 🙂

** Please note – “xGA” on the Form Stats Tables symbolises “expected goals against”

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