Porto will play host to Juventus tonight in the first knockout round of this season’s Champions League.
We witnessed two away victories in both of last night’s fixtures, with both Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain overcoming RB Leipzig and Barcelona respectively.
We will be hoping for some more of that tonight at the Estadio Do Dragao where we will be hoping to secure a positive result to take back to Turin.
The home side come into the clash on the back of four consecutive draws. Those will mean nothing come kick-off however, as we saw last night when Liverpool ended a winless run domestically with an important result.
Porto were strong in their group to qualify, with double-wins over both Marseille and Olympiakos Piraeus, but were only able to pick up one point against table-toppers Man City.
Juventus had a similar group in that they also picked up double-wins over the lesser strong two of their group, but thanks to an impressive 3-0 win against Barcelona in the Nou Camp were able to seal top spot from their rivals.
Domestically the Old Lady have really improved their form in recent months, but also come into the clash without a win in their last two. The draw with Inter Milan could be considered a victory in a sense, considering it saw them qualify for the Coppa Italia final however, but it doesn’t change the fact that have now gone 180 minutes without scoring a goal.
While both sides are not enjoying their best seasons domestically, neither can be discounted in their bid to challenge in this competition, and this could go either way.
I expect both sides to play out the opening leg with caution in mind, but this Juventus side has already showed it’s passion for the competition, and I expect them to get themselves a 2-1 lead tonight. Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo are somewhat specialists in the competition, and I would be shocked if at least one of them didn’t get on the scoresheet also.
What are your early predictions for tonight’s encounter?