Porto faces Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions quarter-final. The fixture to be played on tentative home ground in Seville, Spain.
Why Should You be Watching?
Porto made it to the quarter-final after normal time. Over two legs, a 3-3 draw threw both sides into extra time where free-kick settled scores and Porto advanced to the next stage of the competition. On the other side, Chelsea overpowered Atletico Madrid over the two legs. Interestingly, Chelsea is yet to lose a single game in the UEFA Champions League, alongside Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Could this be the end of their unbeaten Champions League tale?
Porto is in extraordinary form at the moment. The last time Porto lost in the Primeria Liga dates back to October 2020. Porto has only recorded two losses this year. One against the current leaders in their League, Sporting, in a cup game and the second against Juventus which they eventually won the tie on aggregate in the UEFA Champions League. Mehdi Taremi who saw a red in the second leg tie against Juventus will miss out on the clash. Also, Sergio Oliviera, the 19-year old midfielder whose brace sent Porto to the quarter-finals, will sit out the encounter having accumulated three yellow cards. Malang Sarr is eligible to face his parent club but is unlikely to bench Pepe who is deemed fit and played the full 90 minutes at weekend.
Porto form in the League: DWWWW
Chelsea last weekend was the opposite of what we have seen over the first few weeks of Thomas Tuchel’s regime for which he the English manager of the month. Loose passes, Sloppy defending, and lack of organization; one could argue that the red card contributed to it. But, the red card came as a result of loose play from Chelsea players. The Chelsea team would aspire to bounce back from the distraught performance against West Brom. Kante and Pulisic are out of the scene due to hamstring injury. Rudiger and Kai Havertz were rested in the West Brom game in view of the Champions League game.
Mason Mount and Andreas Christensen were not started against West Brom. The Duo was later involved in the game after the dismissal of Tiago Silva and the injury of Pulisic. It is yet to be seen if the will be any consequence of Rudiger’s outburst on training to warrant him not starting against Porto. After a dismal performance, will Tuchel still put his faith in Jorginho?
Chelsea form in the League: DWWDL
Head to Head
Porto has lost five of their last eight UEFA Champions League encounter with Chelsea, winning two and one draws. Chelsea has won 75% of their UEFA Champions League encounters with Portuguese opponents.
Manafa, Pepe, Mbemba, Sanusi
Corona, Grujic, Uribe, Otavio
Azplicueta, Andreas Christensen, Rudiger
Reece James, Jorginho, Kovacic
Mount, Kai Havertz, Ziyech
Players to Watch Out For
Mason Mount is arguably the best performer in the Chelsea squad this season. His presence in the team brings a lot to the team.
To read more about Mount Refer to the article: “Is Mount Overrated”
His superb ability to transit from Defence to Attack is sublime. In the midst of all Chelsea chaos against West Brom, Mateo Kovacic was still a bright Spark. Porto will have to be wary of him to get anything out of the tie
The Champions League is in its most exciting stages. Porto will have to maintain the discipline and composure they possessed against Juventus to be able to move from this stage of the tournament. Chelsea on the other hand, must up their game. If Chelsea put up a display any sort of the one like they did against West Brom, it could mark the beginning of the end of their Champions league campaign.