Porto vs Liverpool
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 14 February 2018
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
Porto started their Champions League group stage campaign dreadfully, losing 3-1 at home to Besiktas. Things looked bleak, as they had back-to-back away games coming up, at Monaco and Leipzig. Their 3-0 win in Monaco kept them alive, despite the loss in Germany, but still, by the end of the first round, they were not among the favourites to qualify. It was their 3-1 over over Leipzig that… sort of put them in the game for good, not only because of the three points, but also because they earned the advantage in case they drew with the German side on points, having scored an extra goal away from home. A 1-1 draw at Besiktas and a resounding 5-2 triumph over Monaco on the last day of the group stage sent them through to the last 16, which was the minimum they were aiming at in this Champions League campaign. In Portugal’s championship, they beat Chaves 4-0 away from home on Sunday, remaining first in the table, two points above Benfica, plus, having a game in hand.
Liverpool’s spectacular ups and downs are nothing new, but they took them to a whole different level a few weeks ago, beating Manchester City 4-3 at Anfield, City’s first defeat of the season in the Premier League, only to lose back-to-back games to Swansea and West Brom right after that. The defeat to West Brom was particularly painful, as it was at home, and marked the end of their season in the FA Cup. With Coutinho gone, and two major failures in consecutive games, questions were raised. Liverpool rose to the occasion though, and despite dropping two points at home against Tottenham, they earned the results they needed at Huddersfield Town and Southampton, sitting third in the Premier League table, having closed the gap on second-placed Manchester United to just two points. With Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino looking the way they have looked since the start of the season, Liverpool have every reason to hope the two games against Porto won’t be their last ones in the Champions League this year…
Previous five matches:
Chaves vs Porto 0-4
Porto vs Sporting 1-0
Porto vs Braga 3-1
Moreirense vs Porto 0-0
Sporting vs Porto 0-0
Southampton vs Liverpool 0-2
Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool 0-3
Liverpool vs West Brom 2-3
Swansea vs Liverpool 1-0
Liverpool vs Manchester City 4-3
Porto’s next game is on Sunday, again at home, versus Rio Ave (Portugal Primeira Liga). Liverpool have a huge break of 10 days after this match. They are hosting West Ham on February 24 (Premier League).
Porto vs Liverpool: Head to head Stats
Porto have hosted Liverpool twice before. In 2001 they drew 0-0 (UEFA Cup quarterfinal), and in 2007 they drew again, 1-1 (Champions League group stage).
Porto vs Liverpool: Prediction
Liverpool are considered favourites to win the game, but with this being the first of two legs, I wouldn’t put my money on Liverpool’s win alone, without the safety net of “draw no bet”, in which case, their victory falls from 2.37 to 1.61. I prefer to bet on goals.
Porto vs Liverpool: Betting Tips
“Over 2.5 goals” pays more than what I expected, given that both teams love attacking. It’s at 1.72 betting odds, which I consider very-very probable to come good. “Over 2.5 goals and both teams to score” is at 2.00, and to my mind it makes sense, as I don’t see how this game can end 0-3 or 3-0. Acting (more than just) a bit greedy, I would risk with “over 3,5 goals”, at 2.75.
More UEFA Champions League betting tips and match previews: