Porto will travel to Turin to take on Juventus today with a place in the Champions League quarter-finals at stake.
The Portuguese giants hold a 2-1 advantage from their home tie, dominating for around 75 minutes of the opening clash, but after conceding the away goal (and being lucky not to have conceded a second also), they now appear as second-favourites to qualify.
The Old Lady have not been entirely consistent during the current campaign, with a hectic schedule and a number of injury/Covid absences to deal with throughout, but in Europe they have impressed.
They went to the Nou Camp knowing that a win by at least two goals was needed to top the group, and they came away with a devastating 3-0 victory to do just that.
Domestically they have been up-and-down however, but since the turn of the year there has been much more consistency, resulting in nine wins from their 12 league matches.
Porto come into the tie with their own struggles also. They trail top of their division by 10 points (just like Juventus), but come into tonight’s game with just one win from their last three in all competition, but have also saved their best performances for Europe.
The Dragons held onto five clean sheets from their six group games, losing away to Manchester City in the other, and they will not be easy to defeat on that standard.
Juventus strength does come in attack however, with a dangerous trio of Federico Chiesa, Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo all ready to be unleashed in the final third, and should we claim an early lead, Porto would have to play more attacking in order to avoid going out on away goals.
Our rivals will likely set up on the counter, although giving much of their focus in defence, and I feel allowing us too much possession could be dangerous for them.
Once we break the deadlock, which I’m not expecting to come early, the game will change, and I can see us capitalising.
I expect both Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo to both add to their astonishing goal tallies in the competition, and can see Juventus coming away with a nice 3-0 scoreline to see them through.
What are your predictions for today’s big clash?