In Review

Champions League: FC Porto vs. Liverpool preview, team news, starting XIs, predictions, betting odds, TV

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson urges team-mates to keep believing

FC Porto vs. Liverpool
  • What: Uefa Champions League quarter-final second leg (0-2 on aggregate) 
  • When: Wednesday 17 April 
  • Where: Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal 
  • Kick off: 8pm (UK time) 
  • TV channel and live stream: BT Sport 3 
  • Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)

Liverpool take a two-goal aggregate lead to FC Porto on Wednesday night and are hot favourites to reach the semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s side won 2-0 in the quarter-final first leg at Anfield last week thanks to first-half goals from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino. After beating Porto 5-0 at the Estadio do Dragao last season the Reds will be confident of securing their place in the last four.

A 2-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday saw Liverpool return to the top of the Premier League and captain Jordan Henderson has urged his team-mates to focus on securing another big result.

The England midfielder told the club’s official website: “We’ve got to keep believing in the games that we’re in. We keep doing the good things that we’ve been doing, keep working hard and then win as many games as we can. That’s our focus.

“[It’s] another big game for us - a tough one. We’ve been there before and played well and got the result. But it might be different because they’re a good team, [and there will be] a great atmosphere.

“For us it’s about going there, performing and getting the result we need to get to the next round.”

The winner of the Liverpool vs. Porto tie will play Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals. Barcelona eased to a 4-0 aggregate win against Manchester United.

What the managers had to say

Sergio Conceicao, FC Porto

“Liverpool are all about the way that I think about football. I like the Liverpool dynamics, their game model. I like the way they play with the ball and without it, it’s similar to how I see football.

“In my opinion, in a lot of these moments they are the best team in the world. The match is difficult to prepare for not only because it is 2-0, but also because Liverpool are very strong in attack. The balance we will need when we are attacking will be fundamental so that we do not concede any more goals.”

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool

“We are in a good moment, we want to play football and we want to fight hard. We’ll try to use the result [at Anfield] and go there confident. They always have a high intense game in the highest intensity atmosphere. From the first kick, they will go with a clear direction. If we were 2-0 down and going into the home leg, would we think we were out? No way. That’s exactly what Porto are thinking.”

Team news and possible starting XIs

Porto injury news and suspensions

After six months out with a knee injury Cameroon forward Vincent Aboubakar returned to action in midweek.

Porto are also boosted by the return of former Real Madrid centre-half Pepe and influential midfielder Hector Herrera, who were both suspended for the first leg.

Liverpool injury news and suspensions

The Premier League leaders will welcome back Andy Robertson after the left-back was suspended for the first leg at Anfield.

Skipper Jordan Henderson is also expected to start after an ankle knock last week against Chelsea. Star trio Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will again lead the attack. 

On Henderson’s fitness, Liverpool manager Klopp said: “He got a knock on his ankle, that’s pretty much all. He was fine after the game. A bit of pain, no problem, [he] didn’t twist [it]. It’s only painful, not a problem.”

The BBC reports that defender Dejan Lovren and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain missed training on Tuesday and have been left out of the travelling squad. However, defender Joe Gomez is available. 

“Dejan had a bad night, the doctor was there and he had no chance to travel,” Klopp said. “If you feel not well and had a bad night, we all know an intense game the day after doesn’t exactly sound like the thing you should do. We have Joe [Gomez] so we should be fine for that position.”

Possible starting XIs

How the teams could line up at the Estadio do Dragao, according to Uefa.com.

  • Porto possible starting XI (4-3-3): Casillas; Militão, Pepe, Felipe, Alex Telles; Danilo, Herrera, Otávio; Brahimi, Soares, Marega 
  • Liverpool possible starting XI (4-3-3): Allison; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keïta; Salah, Firmino, Mané

Predictions

London Evening Standard: “Porto showed in their home leg against AS Roma in the last round that they are no pushovers at the Dragao, but Liverpool’s first-leg lead will be more than enough to see them through to the semi-finals, and we expect them to win on the night as well. Score prediction: FC Porto 1 Liverpool 2 [1-4 on aggregate].”

90min: “Liverpool will be looking for a professional display, as they look to see off their Portuguese opponents. The Liverpudlians will also be keeping things tight early on and will be looking to counter-attack the home side when given the opportunity, knowing an away goal would surely see them progress. Porto will be strong in this game and may take a lead, but their chances of keeping Liverpool’s attacking trio quiet are slim, and an away goal could put the game beyond the home side. Score prediction: Porto 1 Liverpool 1 [1-3 on aggregate].”

SportsMole: “Porto’s positive home European record means that there is still plenty to play for on Wednesday night. Liverpool have won seven matches in a row, however, and that run is likely to extend in midweek to see them over the line. Score prediction: Porto 0 Liverpool 1 [0-3 on aggregate].”

Porto vs. Liverpool betting odds

As of 17 April, see Oddschecker for the latest prices.

Match betting
  • Porto to win: 11/4 
  • Draw: 13/5 
  • Liverpool to win: 11/10
To qualify
  • Porto: 16/1 
  • Liverpool: 1/20
To win the Champions League
  • Porto: 250/1 
  • Liverpool: 7/2

Champions League fixtures and results

Tuesday 16 April: quarter-final second-leg results and reports
Wednesday 17 April: quarter-final second leg fixtures
Quarter-final first-leg results and reports

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