FC Porto vs Liverpool betting tips: Champions League preview & predictions

Roberto Firmino

FC Porto vs Liverpool prediction: FC Porto 1-2 Liverpool

Porto welcome Liverpool to Estádio do Dragão for the second leg of this UEFA Champions League Quarter Final tie.

Liverpool won the first leg of the tie eight days ago at Anfield by a score-line of 2-0. While taking any victory into an away leg of European competition is important, the clean sheet at home seems particularly important here.

With the wealth of attacking options available to Liverpool, stopping them grabbing an away goal here looks a tall order. At which point, Porto would need to score four goals on the night; something no opponent has been able to achieve so far this season against this Liverpool side.

Of course, these sides met here in Porto, in the Round of 16, last season. The Reds winning 5-0 here, before returning to Anfield where they played out a 0-0 draw.

Liverpool have visited Porto on two other occasions, in their history. They drew 1-1 here, in the Champions League group stages, in 2007. They also drew 0-0 here, in the UEFA Cup Quarter Finals, back in 2001.

FC Porto vs Liverpool: Who will win?

Porto fans

FC Porto fans cheer on their team during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Porto and Leicester City FC at Estadio do Dragao on December 7, 2016 in Porto, Porto. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Liverpool have won only one of their last eight visits to Portugal. However, their thumping 0-5 win here last season, coupled with their 2-0 win at Anfield last week, has them as bookies 11/10 favourites to pick up another away victory here.

Two of the three competitive matches between these sides, in Porto, have resulted in a stalemate. They also drew the 2nd leg when they met last season, albeit at Anfield. Odds of 5/2 are available if you see another draw on the cards here.

Porto are winless from their last 5 matches against Liverpool, in the Champions League. They have also failed to score in each of the last 3 matches. This sees Porto as 14/5 outsiders to win the match, despite home advantage.

FC Porto vs Liverpool: Who will score?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 09: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool after a missed chance during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Liverpool and Porto at Anfield on April 09, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Moussa Marega is Porto`s top scorer in the competition this season, with six goals. He has scored twice as many as any Liverpool player in this season’s competition. Marega had 5 shots in the first leg to add to his tally, including two big chances, yet failed to do so.

Will the Porto striker be more clinical at home where he has bagged four of his six goals? He is the favourite to get on the scoresheet for Porto, at 15/8, or 6/1 as first scorer.

Mohamed Salah hasn’t scored in the Champions League in three games. He hasn’t scored an away goal in the competition since that memorable strike at the Etihad at this stage of the competition last season. However, his stunning strike at the weekend hints that he could be coming into form at the best possible time for Liverpool. Therefore, he is the 4/1 favourite to score first here, 5/4 to score at any time.

Sadio Mané destroyed Porto here last season, with a stunning hat-trick. He bagged the first, and ultimately winning goal, at the weekend against Chelsea to end his mini-drought of four games without a goal for club and country. He is 15/8 to get on the scoresheet, or 6/1 as first scorer.

Graph showing the Expected Goal Difference (Red) and non-shot Expected Goal Difference (Grey) for Liverpool (Top) and Porto (Bottom) for the 2018/19 Champions League season. Click to expand.

Graph showing the Expected Goal Difference (Red) and non-shot Expected Goal Difference (Grey) for Liverpool (Top) and Porto (Bottom) for the 2018/19 Champions League season. Click to expand.

FC Porto vs Liverpool: Match preview

The 2-0 score-line from the first leg suggests a comfortable Liverpool win. It also sets them up nicely in the tie whereby any away goal would spell disaster for Porto.

However, this perhaps doesn’t tell the whole story from the first leg. Liverpool fans will have been concerned with the frequency and ease Marega was getting the ball and able to attack the Liverpool back line. With how the midfield struggled to put adequate pressure on the ball high up the pitch to prevent simple balls forward to the Porto runners.

Marega had five shots on the night, all quite central and inside the penalty box, four of which were closer than the penalty spot and two were big chances. Ordinarily, you give those chances to a player with six Champions League goals in eight games, you can expect him to score anything from one to three goals.

Liverpool had their chances too, of course. Both the expected goals and non-shot expected goals models suggest they were 1.1 to 1.3 goals better than their opponent.

However, had Porto got that away goal, just as they did in Rome, they would perhaps have hope in beating Liverpool in front of their own fans. Just as they did Roma.

With Liverpool, we saw a similar openness to their play at the weekend against Chelsea. Even while 2-0 ahead, they struggled to prevent counter attacks.

While this is unlikely to hinder Liverpool’s progress to the semi-final, it also isn’t an approach of many champions. Having seen their tight defence and controlling midfield steer them to a title challenge and past Bayern Munich to a Champions League quarter final, now would be the wrong time to abandon that approach.

FC Porto team news vs Liverpool

Hector Herrera of FC Porto

PORTO, PORTUGAL – JULY 28: Hector Herrera of FC Porto during the team presentation prior to the pre-season friendly match between FC Porto and Newcastle at Estádio do Drago on July 28, 2018 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Vincent Aboubakar (Cruciate Ligament Rupture) is the only player likely to miss the game for Porto due to injury.

Porto welcome Pepe back from suspension, who is expected to return to the starting XI in central defence.

Hector Herrera also returns from suspension for Porto and is expected to slot into his usual position in central midfield, next to Danilo Pereira.

Sérgio Conceição surprised many by playing three at the back in the first leg; the first time Porto have played this system this season. Will he look to utilise it once again given the success he had in attacking Liverpool’s back line? Or will Conceição return to his more familiar 4-4-2 system?

Liverpool team news vs FC Porto

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 09: Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on February 9, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana look likely to miss the game for Liverpool as they battle back to full fitness.

Andrew Robertson missed Liverpool’s 2-0 win in the first leg due to suspension. He returned to the starting XI on Sunday in place of James Milner, at left-back, and is expected to keep his place here.

Jordan Henderson was withdrawn early at the weekend following a knock on his ankle. While he is likely to be fit and available here, Klopp may choose to rotate him out to keep him fresh for the Premier League matches ahead.

Georginio Wijnaldum hasn’t started a game for Liverpool in the month of April as he gets an extended rest for the crucial run-in. He may be in line for a recall to the starting XI here.

Dejan Lovren replaced Joel Matip for the 1st leg. It was his first start since the beginning of January. He is expected to be recalled to the starting XI here as Klopp looks to give his squad players some minutes for match fitness.

Joe Gomez came through 60 minutes against Leicester U23 unscathed on Sunday and looked like he had never missed a minute of football. He may be in contention to be involved here also.

James Milner, Xheridan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge are among those hoping to be rotated in if Klopp looks to use the game to rest his starting XI.

Predicted FC Porto team vs Liverpool

Predicted FC Porto team vs Liverpool

Predicted FC Porto team vs Liverpool

Predicted Liverpool team vs FC Porto

Predicted Liverpool team vs FC Porto

Predicted Liverpool team vs FC Porto

The latest tweets from FC Porto pre-Liverpool

The latest tweets from Liverpool pre-FC Porto

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

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