FC Porto vs Liverpool
Wednesday 17th April, 2019 – 8:00pm – Estadio Dragao – BT Sport 3
Liverpool have one foot in the Champions League semi-finals.
Well, lets hope Jurgen & the boys don’t see it like that but lets be honest with ourselves, it would take something catastrophic for Porto to be turning out to face either Barcelona or Manchester United in the backend of April. And this Liverpool team don’t deal in the currency of catastrophic anymore.
The Portuguese side, joint-top of their league, have to score two to take it to extra time and three to win, and thats if The Reds don’t bag one themselves in the Estadio Dragao.
Klopp’s side have only conceded more than two goals in a game once this season, against Crystal Palace at Anfield, and even in then we still bagged four goals ourselves.
Lets have a look at how the betting markets are looking ahead of the crunch last-eight tie, with tips & pointers on where it may be worth sticking your money on Wednesday night.
We have a range of Boosted Odds for the game here – including Salah to score & Liverpool to win in 90 mins at 12/5!*
PORTO ‘LUCKY’ TO GET THIS FAR
Momentum has been re-established after seven wins on the bounce, including victories over the likes of Bayern, Spurs, Porto and Chelsea, so we’re pretty bullish about our chances in the return leg.
Give him the ball, he’ll score everytimeeeeeee 🎵 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/0xGXKQM8uP
— RedsBet (@Reds_Bet) April 9, 2019
Indeed, it was only last season where we gave Porto an absolute pasting on their own patch as we ran out 5-0 winners, and we’ve only improved as a collective since then.
Porto won an impressive 25 of their 29 fixtures this term however, but they’ve only won 12 of the subsequent 21 outings as they’ve been less efficient since the turn of the year and have slipped behind Benfica on head-to-head results – with their rivals doing the double over them this term.
The Dragons benefited from an easy Champions League group featuring Galatasaray, Lokomotiv Moscow and Schalke to reach this stage, as well as overcoming an out-of-sorts Roma in the last 16, and even a record of 18 wins from their last 19 on home turf does little to convince us of their credentials with their domestic opposition pretty ropey for the most part.
HENDO’S LICENCE TO ROAM
Sergio Conceicao deviated from his usual methods to line-up with a back three at Anfield, though the surprise tactic backfired as the wing-backs were caught too high up the pitch, vacating space which Mo Salah and Sadio Mane were able to exploit on the counter.
Right wing-back Jesus Manuel Corona in particular was all at sea, while both goals in the 2-0 win came from moves that started with balls to the wide areas.
It’s unclear whether Porto will set up the same way this time, though Jurgen Klopp will surely keep Jordan Henderson in his new role where he has greater licence to roam forwards, while we expect our boys to find a way through to goal regardless of whether Conceicao attempts to spring another surprise or not.
THE ‘BREXIT MIDFIELD’ SET FOR A RETURN?
Jordan Henderson appears to have shaken off a knock picked up in the win over Chelsea and should be fine to start, while he’ll be joined in the line-up by Andy Robertson after the left-back served his suspension during the first leg.
To be honest, the enforced one-game break may have been good for the Scotland captain even if he didn’t look in dire need of recharging the batteries, but there’ll probably be another switch in the backline with Klopp likely to rotate Dejan Lovren into the side to replace Joel Matip.
The only other selection issue centres around who gets the nod in midfield, with Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner and Naby Keita all competing for one slot alongside Henderson and Fabinho.
Mo Salah netted a sensational effort against Chelsea and appears to have rediscovered his mojo at a crucial time of the season with two goals in his last three outings, as the other came versus Southampton, while he also came close to registering in the first leg at Anfield.
He’s now out on his own as top scorer for the season ahead of Sadio Mane, though the Senegalese has hardly disappointed of late and has 12 goals in 15 appearances since mid-January across all competitions.
Both registered in this fixture last term as Mane produced a hat-trick, and we think both can get onto the scoresheet again.
*Odds are subject to change
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