Porto vs Juventus
After a long hiatus, the Champions League is finally back and we have matches that are sure to feed into your football fandom.
One of them is between reigning Portugal and Italy champions Porto and Juventus, as they’ll go head-to-head in the first leg of their Round of 16 over at the Estadio do Dragao this Wednesday evening.
It will be a match where we can expect Cristiano Ronaldo to be given a warm welcome by his fellow countrymen with everything that he has done for Portugal in the last few years.
But pleasantries aside, it will be business as usual for Porto and Juventus as both clubs are eager to improve their overall form by continuing their strong continental run so far as they look to shrug off their inconsistent domestic displays.
After winning the Primeira Liga last season, Porto find themselves at second behind Sporting CP, trailing by 10 points at this part of their campaign.
Meanwhile, for Juventus, they sit at the fourth spot in the Serie A table and they are fresh from a brutal defeat against Napoli in the last time out.
So who will draw first blood in this mouthwatering encounter? Check out our latest match preview courtesy of SBOTOP.
Porto’s home dominance to be put to the test
A key factor to Porto’s run so far in the Champions League is how well they have performed at home.
Under team manager Sergio Conceicao, the Dragons have been one of the best defensive teams as they have yet to surrender a goal at home in the tournament.
They finished second in Group C behind current Premier League leaders Manchester City, winning four of their six group stage games – making them one of the underrated clubs to watch out for.
However, judging by their recent form, the Dragons seem to have lost their fire from within.
They have failed to win in three straight occasions in the Primeira Liga, which effectively gives their rivals in Sporting CP a big 10-point lead.
Porto are haunted by slow starts lately and they cannot afford to have another one when the Serie A defending champions visit town.
Sergio Oliveira the main man upfront for Porto, while he is accompanied by the dangerous wing combo of Mehdi Taremi and Moussa Marega.
Jesus Corona’s return will surely help Porto, but he will have his hands full in dealing with a stacked Juve midfield cast.
Juventus need a shot in the arm
One of the big reasons why Juventus aren’t the overwhelming favourites in this one is because they are coming into this contest undermanned.
Juan Cuadrado, Arthur, Paulo Dybala, and Aaron Ramsey are all unavailable due to injuries, leaving the likes of Federico Chiesa, Federico Bernardeschi, and Weston McKennie to play heavy minutes.
On the other hand, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are both available at the centre-back positions to be linked alongside Matthijs de Ligt.
Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo are to be featured upfront and they will have another chance to show everyone what they’re made of.
Nonetheless, I Bianconeri have the advantage in terms of quality but they cannot let their guard down against a hungry Porto squad.
Porto are still looking for their first win over Juventus in European competition since they haven’t done so in their previous five encounters (D1, L4).
These two sides last met in the Champions League in 2017 where I Bianconeri won with an aggregate tally of 3-0.
I Bianconeri are also the only team alongside Zenit St. Petersburg to have locked horns with Porto at least twice on the road without ever conceding a single goal.
Juventus have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the seventh straight time this term, while this will be Porto’s fourth KO stage appearance in the last five seasons.
|Porto vs Juventus||Juventus Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 1.76|
|February 18, 04:00 (GMT+8)|
The latest Champions League 2021 odds are picking Juventus to emerge victorious in this contest.
The visitors are priced at 2.04 to win, while Porto are surprisingly not far behind at 3.70 and chances for a draw are at 3.25 in the 1×2 market.
Despite their inconsistencies this season, Juventus should come away with a win primarily because of their superior depth compared to Porto’s. Porto have been inconsistent either, which further increases the visitors’ chances.
Although this game is to be played without fans, Cristiano Ronaldo will be eager to put on a show for his home country in the only way he knows how – which is to score goals and create numerous Champions League 2021 highlights.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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