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

Liverpool vs FC Porto prediction: Liverpool 2-0 FC Porto

Liverpool welcome Porto to Anfield for the second year in a row, in the UEFA Champions League knock out stages.

Last season, these sides met in the Round of 16 with the Reds winning 5-0 on aggregate, en-route to the final. All five goals came in the first leg, in Porto, before playing out a goalless draw here for the return leg.

Porto have visited Anfield on two other occasions, in their history. They were defeated 4-1 here, in the Champions League group stages, in 2007.

They also lost 2-0 here, in the UEFA Cup Quarter Finals, back in 2001, during Liverpool’s treble winning season. One of the three trophies won being the UEFA Cup, with a memorable 5-4 win against Alaves in the final.

Liverpool vs FC Porto: Who will win?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool gestures as sleet falls during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield on March 10, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Liverpool have won six of their eight matches against Portuguese opposition, here at Anfield. This includes two of their three encounters here against Tuesday’s opponents, Porto. They are 1/4 favourites to see off Porto here once again.

Three of the six competitive matches between these sides have resulted in stalemate. This includes when they played out a 0-0 here last season. Odds of 17/4 are available if you see another draw on the cards here.

Porto have won six of their last seven matches in the UEFA Champions League. However, they have a poor record from matches on English soil with three draws and fifteen defeats from their eighteen visits to these shores. They are the 10/1 outsiders to finally break their win-less steak here.

Liverpool vs FC Porto: Who will score?

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 17: Moussa Marega of Porto runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League group G match between RB Leipzig and FC Porto at Red Bull Arena on October 17, 2017 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Moussa Marega is Porto’s top scorer in the competition this season, with six goals. He has scored twice as many as Liverpool`s top-scorers, Salah and Mané, who both have three.

Only Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski have scored more this season, with eight. He is the favourite to get on the score-sheet for Porto, at 3/1, or 10/1 as first scorer.

Mohamed Salah ended his eight-game goal drought at the weekend with a stunning strike, and what proved to be the winning goal, against Southampton, on Friday night. Many expect that goal to kick-start his goalscoring form for the run-in and it seems the bookies are no different. They have him as the 11/4 favourite to score first here, 8/11 to score at any time.

Sadio Mané destroyed Porto last season, in Portugal, with a stunning hat-trick of goals. His recent form saw him score seven in five games. Although, he hasn’t found the net in his last two appearances for the Reds.

Can Mane get back amongst the goals and break Porto hearts again here? He is 5/4 to get on the score-sheet, or 9/2 as first scorer.

Liverpool vs FC Porto: Match preview

Yacine Brahimi

ROME, ITALY – FEBRUARY 12: Bryan Cristante (L) and Alessandro Florenzi of AS Roma compete for the ball with Yacine Brahimi of FC Porto during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between AS Roma and FC Porto at Stadio Olimpico on February 12, 2019 in Rome. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Two of the central points in discussion about this game seem to be on the strength of this Porto side and this Liverpool team, relative to when they met in the competition last season.

Porto came into that match undefeated in twenty-four matches. Although, perhaps this was ultimately their downfall. They believed they could go toe-to-toe with Liverpool and come out victorious in an open game. Something that even Pep Guardiola has talked about as not being an option for his fantastic Manchester City side.

Jurgen Klopp is the master of the transitions. His assistant manager, Pep Lijnders, described it recently as trying to control, or organise, chaos. Those initial few seconds when the ball is turned over, you need to control the space the opposition has to hurt you, or exploit the space you are afforded while they are between shapes.

Liverpool vs FC Porto: The tale of the tape

Graph showing the Expected Goal Difference (xGD) and non-shot Expected Goal Difference (Non-Shot xGD) for Liverpool (Red) and Porto (Blue) for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Champions League seasons. Click to expand.

Graph showing the Expected Goal Difference (xGD) and non-shot Expected Goal Difference (Non-Shot xGD) for Liverpool (Red) and Porto (Blue) for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Champions League seasons. Click to expand.

Looking now at what the expected goals model says about the relative strength of both team’s performances over the last two seasons, we can see above that, in the Champions League at least, Liverpool seem to be improving the further they get into the competition.

This is in stark contrast with last season where they seemed to be on a steady decline from their 4th Group match onwards.

While Porto looked every bit a second-tier side in the tournament last season. Particularly in terms of non-shot xGD (non-shot expected goal difference). This is a measure of the net value of chances each team has of scoring based on territory, rather than shots which a traditional expected model would measure. So a side who creates good opportunities, like a cross that is just inches for being taped into an open net, would score well in this metric.

This season’s chart suggests that, while they were marginally better than their opponents in the group stages, they were superior to AS Roma in the Round of 16 and very much worth their qualification over the two legs.

It also suggests if Liverpool fans are expecting another stroll against them, they will be in for a shock. This year, Porto looks much more of a match for them than last season’s side.

Liverpool team news vs FC Porto

WATFORD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Andy Robertson of Liverpool in action during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road on November 24, 2018 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

Liverpool have no fresh injury concerns following their win against Southampton, at the weekend.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez continue their work towards achieving full fitness after a long time out due to an ACL and a broken leg, respectively.

Adam Lallana has been struggling recently with a muscular injury. He is nearing a return to full fitness but isn’t expected to be involved here.

Andrew Robertson will miss the game due to suspension for accumulated yellow cards. James Milner and Alberto Moreno will battle it out for the chance to replace him, with Milner more likely to get the nod rather than bringing Moreno in from the cold.

Jordan Henderson is also expected to start, after his goalscoring and assist cameo against Southampton. He is expected to replace Wijnaldum, who has looked off the pace in recent matches and in need of a rest.

FC Porto team news vs Liverpool

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)

Vincent Aboubakar (Cruciate Ligament) and Alex Telles (Bursitis) are expected to miss the game through injury.

Pepe and Héctor Herrera are both suspended for Porto, for accumulated yellow cards.

Pepe’s suspension should see Militao move into central defence with Maxi Pereira deputising at right-back.

While Óliver Torres is expected to replace Héctor Herrera in central midfield.

Porto have mostly deployed a 4-3-3 formation in the Champions League this season. However, they reverted to a 4-4-2 against Roma and have persisted with it since. Don’t be surprised to see them match Liverpool’s 4-3-3 formation, should they need to change the game.

Predicted Liverpool team vs FC Porto

Predicted Liverpool team vs FC Porto

Predicted Liverpool team vs FC Porto

Predicted FC Porto team vs Liverpool

Predicted FC Porto team vs Liverpool

Predicted FC Porto team vs Liverpool

The latest tweets from Liverpool pre-FC Porto

The latest tweets from FC Porto pre-Liverpool

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

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