Clay McGibbonRoma vs Porto, Tuesday 12th February, 15:00, Stadio Olimpico. The first legs of the Champions League knockout games are played this week, with Serie A side Roma and Liga Nos’ Porto looking to gain the upper hand before the next round of fixtures
The first legs of the Champions League knockout games are played this week, with Serie A side Roma and Liga Nos’ Porto looking to gain the upper hand before the next round of fixtures
With both sides performing well in the group stage, this is one of the tougher clashes to predict given the inconsistent nature that both sides possess.
Roma, semi finalists from last season, are currently seventh in Serie A and are going into this fixture off the back of two draws against Milan at home and Atalanta away while losing 7-1 away at Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia quarter finals.
Porto, on the other hand, are currently three points clear at the top of Liga Nos and have only lost twice in the league this season (at home to Vitoria Guimaraes and away at rivals Benfica).
The Italian club came second in their group behind Real Madrid and only qualified by two points ahead of CSKA Moscow and Plzen, ending with a record of three wins and three loses.
The Liga Nos leaders’ group stage performances probably have them as favourites in this game due to the fact they went unbeaten and only dropped points in one game (the group opener away at Schalke).
The away side are favourites to win this game although it may not be a big shock to anyone if Roma manage to pull a result out of nowhere, with manager Eusebio Di Francesco occasionally getting important results when his side need it most. It could be close, though, with 1-1 looking possible.
Porto are ever-so-slightly favourites for this clash so an away win carries quite high odds, but it is also highly likely that both teams will score and you can never quite can count out Roma in a Champions League game. Roma will be intent on giving their home fans a European night to savour again and this is among the best online betting odds for this midweek round of action.
These aren’t lengthy odds for an outcome which is more probable than they reflect because of the unknown nature of the two sides’ form heading into the fixture. Home advantage should significantly shift the momentum in this game with the rocking Olimpico crowd getting behind Roma and the scoreline being level at the break and neither team going all out to risk a second leg disadvantage does look likely.
Head to Head
These sides have only ever met four times before, with the most recent coming in 2016 when Porto knocked Roma out of the Champions League qualification stages with a 4-0 aggregate win.
Roma’s home form has been significantly stronger than their away this season, but the six wins and four draws doesn’t exactly fill fans up with hope that they’ll get a nailed on win, with their only loss coming against SPAL earlier in the Serie A campaign.
A draw for Porto would be much more beneficial to them than it would to the Romans, but the two draws in Liga Nos alongside the solitary draw away at Schalke earlier in the Champions League suggests that Porto could set up to take it back to Portugal level pegging.
Roma haven’t beaten any of the teams ahead of them in Serie A this season other than arch rivals Lazio, suggesting that when the pressure is on them, they tend to crack a bit more than usual.
Porto are almost the opposite of Roma in this regard having only dropped points in four games this season but two of those games are against their big Portuguese rivals Sporting and Benfica, so maybe even the Liga Nos leaders aren’t culpable to a slip up once in a while.