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Porto Vs Arsenal Match Preview

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Sérgio Conceição’s FC Porto will be hoping to grab a win and keep their hope of winning of a third continental title alive when they face English side Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg tie later today at the Estàdio do Dragão, the over 50,000 capacity home ground of FC Porto. Porto are two time UCL winners, once in 1987 and the second 20 years ago under Manager Jose Mourinho at the Arena AufSchalke in Germany thrashing AS Monaco 3-0 in the finals. This season’s campaign saw them finishing second in Group H behind Spanish giants Barcelona, both teams were level on points (12) after six group games with the Catalan side having the superior goal difference.

Porto vs Arsenal Preview for Champions League First Leg

Porto’s Run

Porto’s journey to this stage of the competition have been nothing short of impressive winning four of their six group games, they kicked off their campaign with an emphatic 3-1 away win at Shakhtar Donetsk, the two losses they suffered in the group stage were in the hands of Barcelona, a 1-0 loss at home on matchday 2 back in October 2023 and 2-1 loss on matchday 5 at the Estadi Olympic Lluís Companys the temporary home of FC Barcelona, Pepe’s 30th minute equalizer wasn’t enough as João Felix 57th minute strike secured all three points for the Catalans in that encounter.

Read More: Arsenal Should Have No Fear as They Return to Champions League Knockouts

The Dragons sit in third place in the Portuguese top-flight league, seven points behind league leaders Benfica and four behind second-placed Sporting CP, they have not really been convincing in their domestic campaign.

Head to Head

This encounter with Arsenal will be the 7th meeting of these two sides in the UEFA Champions League with Arsenal coming out top in three, Porto winning two while one ended in a draw. The Gunners have been exceptional under Ex-player turned manager Mikel Arteta having finished top of group B with 13 points blowing away opponents including a 4-0 humiliation of Dutch giants PSV in matchday 1 and a 6-0 thrashing of French side Lens in matchday 5.

They no doubt have their eyes on winning the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history parading a lot of exciting and talented young players the likes of Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice, Lesandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli etc.

Arsenal’s Run

They are on a five game winning streak on the home front scoring an impressive 11 goals in their last two match and also recording clean sheets a pointer to how ruthless this side can be, strong in defence and clinical in attack. They are second on the EPL table with 55 points, two behind Liverpool who are currently leading the pack.

Read More: Tactical Preview: How Arsenal Can Snatch First Leg Victory at FC Porto

Porto will have a lot of trouble stopping a very motivated, energetic and prolific Arsenal attack who are hungry to win titles especially the UEFA Champions League which has seemed elusive to the club in its existence. Arsenal on the other hand will need to approach the game cautiously, the game promises to be an exciting one and a game to look out for.

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