Porto’s starting XI for tonight will come to an accumulative £47.7 million which is roughly 90% of the Naby Keita transfer deal from Leipzig to Liverpool. This sums up the task at hand that FC Porto will face tonight.
As soon as the draw was made Porto were already written off as an easy tie and basically a free ticket to the next round. I can understand that there’s not a lot of coverage on the Portuguese league in England which of course encourages arrogant comments. In all honesty, I can understand the arrogance of the Liverpool fans, they’re matching the “best team in world Football” Manchester City blow for blow in the league. They also put out the best team in the Bundesliga in Bayern last round. So on that basis, what chance do Porto have?
I’m always quietly optimistic when it comes to Sérgio Conceição’s men. I believe there are parts of the game that FCP can exploit. The main one being at left back for Liverpool, with Robertson out they’ll either have to start: Milner or Moreno. Both players can easily be exploited by the pace of Jesus Corona and or the power of a rejuvinated Moussa Marega.
This tie feels completely different to the tie of last year with both sides heavily invested in title races which will be in the back of the minds of both Klopp and Conceição.
I think this tie will go one of two ways:
Option 1 – Liverpool use their home advantage, a fatigued Porto squad and superior quality and put Porto to the sword with ease. When I say ease I’m saying a 5+ goal margin across both legs combined.
Option 2 – Which I’m hoping for! Porto come out and shock the world, leaving Liverpool stunned. One thing that epitomises FC Porto is fight. Whoever the opponent, whatever the stage the players will fight like their life depends on it. I believe that this group of players can pull off the unthinkable. It’ll require a LOT of luck and some flashes of brilliance but with players like Brahimi and Danilo Pereira in your ranks you always have a chance.
I believe in miracles. But I also believe in reality.
Which one will it be? I’m intrigued to see!
By: Ellis Platten