FC Porto: Quick guide to Liverpool’s Champions League quarter-final opponents

Liverpool have been drawn to face Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals, so what can the Reds expect in their next European challenge?


Fans don’t have to look too far to the last time the sides met, with the Primeira Liga outfit being one of the casualties of Liverpool’s run to the final last year.

On that occasion Jurgen Klopp‘s men won 5-0 in the first leg on the road, with a 0-0 draw back at Anfield—but in a reversal of fortunes, the Reds will be at home for the first leg this time around.

The fixtures are set for 9 April for the first leg, with the return fixture being played 17 April.

Here’s everything fans need to know about Porto including how their season has gone, their route to this stage and what has changed since we beat them last year.

 

Changes this season

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Wednesday, February 14, 2018: FC Porto's supporters during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st leg match between FC Porto and Liverpool FC on Valentine's Day at the Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sergio Conceicao remains as manager, in charge as he was last term when the Reds ran riot in the Estadio do Dragao.

Porto ended up winning the league last year, seven points clear of rivals Benfica, but it’s a much closer affair this time.

After 25 league matches apiece, the teams are tied on 60 points, with Braga five points back in third.

In the transfer market, Porto sold Diogo Dalot to Man United and Ricardo Pereira to Leicester in the summer, among others, but their usual savvy work was replicated with incoming deals.

Eder Militao has proven an accomplished young centre-back after joining from Sao Paulo—but his stay will be brief, having now agreed a summer move to Real Madrid.

Most of the first-choice side was in place last year, however, with a few improving their standing—Tiquinho Soares and Moussa Marega, for example, are proving a much more prolific partnership in attack.

Adrian Lopez, away on loan last year, has returned to play a useful role.

 

Key Players

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Wednesday, February 14, 2018: FC Porto's Alex Telles looks dejected as his side concedes the fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st leg match between FC Porto and Liverpool FC on Valentine's Day at the Est·dio do Drag„o. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Militao is the rock at the back, alongside Felipe, but the left side of their 4-4-2 system is particularly noteworthy.

Alex Telles is the full-back, Yassine Brahimi the winger; together they offer pace, great technique, no shortage of dribbling ability and plenty of chance creation.

Marega in particular has looked impressive out of the forward pairing, with his strength and relentless work rate often providing an out-ball for the team under pressure and the potential to create danger from nothing.

Mexican international Hector Herrera remains a key cog in the midfield.

 

Stadium

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, February 13, 2018: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp speaks to his players during a training session at the Estádio do Dragão ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st leg match between FC Porto and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Estadio do Dragao holds 50,000 fans and was packed to the rafters for their vital last 16, second leg fixture against Roma.

There is a metro station close by which links the stadium to the city airport and the town centre. The usual public transport options, bus and taxi services are also available.

The Reds will be playing here for the second leg on April 17.

 

Route to the quarters

NYON, SWITZERLAND - Monday, December 17, 2018: Former Liverpool player and Champions League winner Luis Garcia holds up FC Porto after making the draw during the UEFA Champions League 2018/19 Round of 16 draw at the UEFA House of European Football. (Handout by UEFA)

Porto topped Group D undefeated, though in mitigation it was a middling group in terms of quality.

Schalke finished second—struggling in the Bundesliga and hammered by Man City in the last 16—while Galatasaray were poor in third and Lokomotiv Moscow finished bottom.

Porto won five and drew once in the groups, away to Schalke.

Their last 16 passage was more impressive, however, seeing off another team Liverpool beat in last year’s run to the final: AS Roma.

The Italian side won 2-1 in the first leg, before an incident-packed return fixture ended 3-1 to Porto after extra time, by way of a VAR-awarded penalty in the 117th minute.

Alex Telles scored the all-important spot-kick to send Porto through to meet the Reds.

 

Reds vs. Dragons

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, March 5, 2018: Liverpool's Danny Ings, Ragnar Klavan, Joe Gomez and James Milner applaud supporters following the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Porto at Anfield. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Liverpool and Porto have met six times all told, with all those matches coming since 2001.

The Reds have yet to lose a single fixture, drawing twice away and winning once, and winning twice at Anfield with a single draw.

Last season, it was 5-0 to Liverpool at the Estadio do Dragao and 0-0 at Anfield.

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