Porto are set to host Atletico Madrid in the Champions League group B fixture. The hosts are currently second in the qualifying spot for the knockout round, while the visitors are one point behind them in the fourth position. Can Atletico bounce back against Porto?
Porto are enjoying a fine form this season. They are at the top of the Primeira Liga, level on points with Sporting. They are undefeated in the league with 11 wins and two draws and have won their previous five league games. Despite their impressive form in the league, Porto have won only one fixture in the group stage so far. In their previous Champions League game, Porto failed to match up against Liverpool and were defeated 0-2 at Anfield. Second-half goals from Thiago and Salah were enough to secure three points for Jurgen Klopp’s men. Porto will be keeping one eye on the other group B fixture as a win for Liverpool against AC Milan will mean that Porto will progress to the next round, provided they take three points against Atletico. Porto will be looking at mounting a tough challenge when they welcome Atletico. Mateus Uribe is suspended for the match, while Pepe is doubtful to appear due to a muscular issue. Mbemba could be in contention for the match.
In their previous Champions League match, Porto had a higher xG than their opponents. Otavio had the highest xG, followed by Sadio Mane. Both Mane and Salah took the joint-highest number of shots. Luis Diaz made six dribbles while also making the highest recoveries in opponent’s half. Both Sanusi and Costa made eight passes to the final third.
In terms of successful aerial duels, Porto are at second spot in the Champions League and average upwards of 16 successful aerial duels per match.
Atletico Madrid have been struggling for consistency this season both in the La Liga and in the Champions League. Their chances of getting into the knockout rounds of the Champions League are at risk. They sit bottom of the group B table, although they are level on points with AC Milan. Atletico have lost their previous three back-to-back group stage matches as well. In their previous home game in the group stage, Diego Simeone’s men were edged 0-1 by AC Milan. Atletico would climb to the second spot if they are victorious against Porto and AC Milan fail to win against Liverpool. In La Liga, Atletico occupy the fourth spot with eight wins, five draws, and two losses in 15 games. They are 10 points adrift of the leaders Real Madrid. Felipe is suspended and will remain out for the match. Stefan Savic could also miss out as he suffered a hamstring problem in Atletico’s previous defeat in La Liga. Jose Gimenez is doubtful to appear as well.
In the previous match against AC Milan, Atletico were dominated in terms of multiple attacking metrics. Milan’s xG of 1.85 surpassed that of Atletico’s 0.81. The Italian side took more than twice the number of shots than Atletico. Ibrahimovic had the highest xG in the match, while Brahim Diaz made the highest number of dribbles. Franck Kessie made 14 passes to the final third.
Atletico Madrid have made the joint-tenth highest successful smart passes in the Champions League so far. They average two successful smart passes per match.
Porto (4-4-2): Marchesin; Manafa, Mbemba, Pepe, Sanusi; Otavio, Grujic, Oliveira, Diaz; Taremi, Evanilson.
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Llorente, Hermoso, Kondogbia, Lodi; Correa, Koke, De Paul, Lemar; Griezmann, Suarez.
Atletico have been leaking goals at the back this season, and Porto might be able to take advantage. However, Atletico have enough quality in their squad to make it tough for Porto. A draw is a likely scenario for this one.