Champions League: Liverpool vs. Porto team news, starting XIs, predictions, TV, live stream, betting odds
Reds are hot favourites to progress but Klopp didn’t want Porto in the last eight
Liverpool vs. FC Porto
- What: Uefa Champions League quarter-final first leg
- When: Tuesday 9 April
- Where: Anfield, Liverpool
- Kick-off time: 8pm
- TV channel and live stream: BT Sport 3 and sport.bt.com
Liverpool go into the last-eight tie against FC Porto as the heavy favourites to progress to the Champions League semi-finals.
Jurgen Klopp’s side reached the final of last season’s competition and en route to Kiev they eliminated Porto 5-0 on aggregate at the last-16 stage.
Currently top of the Premier League, Klopp is delighted with how his side is performing. He told the BBC: “We feel in a good moment. We feel that each of our players is fantastic. We are on fire.
“In training you can see we are really in a good moment, but other teams are as well. We all play for a lot. The future could be ours - maybe not ours alone, but we could have a hand. Our development is incredible, especially in this tournament.”
‘We didn’t want Porto’
Even though his team comfortably beat Porto over two legs last year Klopp says he didn’t particularly want to draw the Portuguese side in the quarter-finals.
“People around said so many things,” the German added. “Everybody wanted Porto until you have Porto. We didn’t want Porto, to be honest.
“They only look at numbers, names and stuff like that. People with a proper idea about football didn’t want to have Porto, that’s the truth. But nobody wanted Liverpool as well.
“We don’t want to give them the feeling it’s an easy place to come, and for most of the teams in the Champions League, it’s been a tough place.”
Marega a real threat
Porto have failed to win any of their last 12 away knockout ties, Metro reports, but in forward Moussa Marega they have a real attacking threat. The Mali international, 27, has scored six goals in seven Champions League matches this season.
Despite losing to Liverpool in last year’s round of 16 Porto head coach Sérgio Conceição says the quarter-final tie is not about revenge.
Conceição told BT Sport: “I’ve heard you constantly ask this question, about whether it will be about revenge against Liverpool. No, it’s not about revenge, it’s a game of football.
“All games have a history, a different history to others. We have to understand that no single result can change the characteristics of our team. What happened last year was last year, end of story.”
Prepared to win
Conceição told reporters that his side will go to Anfield seeking the victory. “I think it’s possible to win here,” he said. “We’ve prepared to win, that’s what we’re going to work towards.
“We need to work very hard. Sometimes we’ll be without the ball, there’ll be difficult transitions. We have to be very balanced from an attacking sense.”
TV, live stream and radio coverage
The build-up and match at Anfield will be live on BT Sport 3 from 7.15pm. The broadcaster’s subscribers will also be able to watch a live stream of the match at sport.bt.com.
When is the second leg?
The return fixture between the teams will be played at Porto’s Estádio do Dragão on Wednesday 17 April (8pm, live on BT Sport).
Team news and possible starting XIs
Liverpool injury news and suspensions
Scotland captain Andy Robertson misses the first leg against Porto because of suspension. His place at left-back is likely to be filled by James Milner.
The BBC reports that defender Virgil van Dijk and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum should shake off knocks and be fit to play. Star attacking trio Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will be up front.
Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez remain on the long-term injury list.
Porto injury news and suspensions
The Portuguese side have been hit by a double blow with key players Pepe and Hector Herrera both suspended. Left-back Alex Telles has travelled with the squad but he is a fitness doubt.
Possible starting XIs
How the teams could line up at Anfield, according to the London Evening Standard.
- Liverpool possible starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Milner; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Mane, Firmino
- Porto possible starting XI (4-4-2): Casillas; Maxi Pereira, Militao, Leite, Alex Telles; Otávio, Brahimi, Torres, Corona; Marega, Soares
Michael Owen, former Liverpool and England striker, Metro: “Porto have failed to win any of their last 12 away knockout ties and I expect Jurgen Klopp’s side to take a sizeable lead into next week’s second leg. Score prediction: Liverpool 3 Porto 0.”
Charlie Nicolas, Sky Sports: “Liverpool are doing the business collectively. Everyone is saying this is a cracking draw for them. At Anfield they are creating a big noise at the moment and are getting results. I think this is another one of those nights and the Anfield crowd will spur them on. It will not be as easy as some people will think. I think a 2-0 result is a comfortable first-leg scoreline and will put them through in the end. Score prediction: Liverpool 2 Porto 0.”
Tom Doyle, London Evening Standard: “Liverpool will come flying out of the traps at Anfield, and much will depend on the opening half-hour. An early goal for the hosts could lead to a rout, but Liverpool have not been at their thrilling best in 2019. Score prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Porto.”
Jack Rathborn, Independent: “Liverpool’s momentum is picking up and it does not appear like it will stop against Porto, especially at Anfield. Mohamed Salah is back among the goals and a lead of any sort will satisfy Jurgen Klopp, particularly given the danger they can pose away from home, as demonstrated against Bayern. A sixth consecutive win looks probable then, though the Reds are now five without a clean sheet, having gone five without conceding before this current run. The Reds return to their tried and tested method in Europe, with a fourth consecutive clean sheet at home and a 2-0 victory.”
Liverpool vs. Porto betting odds
Prices via Oddschecker, as of 9 April.
- Liverpool to win: 3/10
- Porto to win: 12/1
- Draw: 11/2
To qualify for the semi-finals
- Liverpool: 1/5
- Porto: 4/1
To win the Champions League
- Liverpool: 4/1
- Porto: 80/1