Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Prediction: FC Porto vs Juventus

Prediction: Juventus to win and both teams to score

Odds: 7/2

Bookmaker: Betfair

Andrea Pirlo will be aiming to add to his UEFA Champions League triumphs claimed as a player as he takes charge of Juventus in the Round of 16 for the first time against Porto at the Estádio do Dragão.

The former midfielder lifted two titles during his playing career and now faces the first-leg against the two-time winners on Wednesday evening in Portugal.

FC Porto

Having last lifted the UEFA Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2004, the Dragons are once again attempting to disturb the established order. The Portuguese giants head into the knockout rounds having finished second in Group C behind Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. They impressed throughout the group stages, losing just one match, that being against the Premier League club on the opening matchday. Since that game, they managed rack up five consecutive clean sheets in the competition – their longest run without conceding a goal in the competition’s current guise. Despite their excellent run of form in Europe, Sérgio Conceição are actually struggling to earn results at the current time. The Dragons have been held to four consecutive draws in all competitions following the 2-2 draw with Boavista. It is in fact their longest run without a victory since a five-game winless streak in November 2016.

Team News

Injuries have hit the Porto squad ahead of the game. Full-backs Nanu and Zaidu Sanusi are both ruled out. They are joined on the sidelines by Otavio in what is a big miss for the hosts, with the Brazilian having already notched 12 goal contributions already in all competitions. In better news however, Jesus Corona is set to play after returning from suspension. The danger man is surely set to be midfielder Sergio Oliveira having already netted three goals in the Champions League this season.

Juventus

Much like their opponents, Juventus come into the game in very positive European form with four consecutive wins in the group stages. The Old Lady topped Group G ahead of Barcelona, losing just one game to the Catalan giants and conceded only four goals on route to the Round of 16. Their progression also extended an excellent record of getting through the group. Only once in the competition’s current format have Juventus failed to get out of their group, with that one occasion coming during the 2012/13 campaign. Andrea Pirlo’s troops will also be extremely confident as they prepare to travel to Portgual. Juve won each of their three away games in the group stage, even managing to sweep aside Barcelona 3-0 at the Nou Camp. As a matter of fact, since reaching the final in 2017, the Italians have only fallen to four away defeats and even those came at the hands of Lyon, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and somewhat more shockingly Young Boys.

Team News

Much like Porto, the visitors have a few injury concerns ahead of the trip. Juan Cuadrado was withdrawn in the recent loss to Napoli and is likely to miss the game. Midfielders Arthur and Aaron Ramsey remain ruled out for the Italians, whilst Paulo Dybala could be a doubt despite his recent return to training.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Juventus and Porto have played each other on four occasions within the UEFA Champions League, with Juventus winning three
  • Porto have only managed to score once in those four games
  • Juventus won the last game 1-0 between the two sides
  • Between them, Juventus and Porto have not won in six matches
  • Both sides have averaged two goals between them per game in the Champions League

Conclusion

Heading into the match, it would be fair to say that neither side are really in the best of form and will be extremely keen to get back to winning ways. Juventus have a realistic chance of winning the competition under Andrea Pirlo, whilst Porto will be extremely keen to make waves across Europe. This time round though, the Italians should have enough to extend their excellent record against the Portuguese giants.

Prediction: Juventus to win and both teams to score

Odds: 7/2

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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