Good day fellow Reds! Tomorrow, those glorious European Nights return home to Anfield, in which FC Porto have the unfortunate task of taking on Liverpool. Porto is currently second in the Primera Liga, only separated by goal differential with Benfica. It will be a re-match of last years round of sixteen match up. Although, its hard to imagine last year’s 5-0 drubbing to have much bearing on this tie.
I can tell you one thing though. I was fortunate enough to be at the match at Anfield last year, and those Porto fans brought the noise! Even being out and about in the days leading up to the match, they were very vocal in the pubs and in the streets. My seat was in the upper section of the Anfield Road end, just above to the away section. The way those supporters sang and chanted the whole night, one would think they were the ones with the 5-0 lead. The Kop, and the whole of Anfield need to be in full voice to match their enthusiasm! It should make for a very electric atmosphere!
The weather is forecasted is be in the mid to upper forties, with clear skies. What a perfect night for football! Unfortunately, Spurs and Abu Dhabi F.C. are on TNT, but Liverpool will be featured on Univision, which is channel 464 on DirecTV.
Injuries and Suspensions
All is fairly quiet on the injury front for the Reds. Adam Lallana was ruled out with a slight muscle issue, that Klopp didn’t want to talk about. Joe Gomez looks to be a week or so away. Jurgen did say that he could have been available if the need was there. Thankfully it’s not, so Joe gets a few more proper training sessions before his return. The Ox is still out nursing the hammy he suffered a few weeks back. The only other lad that will be missing tomorrow, and its a big one, is Robbo. He has a one match suspension that needs to be served based on an accumulation of Yellow Cards up to this point of the competition.
For Porto, the list is a bit longer. Striker Vincent Aboubakar is out with a ligament injury he sustained back in September. Also, left back Alex Telles is racing the clock to be fit after dealing with bursitis in his hip. If he is unable to go, it will be a massive hit for Porto. He brings a lot of the same qualities that Robbo does for us down the left hand side. One to keep our eyes on for sure.
In terms of suspensions, it could get dicey for Porto. CB Pepe, and mid-fielder Hector Herrera are both out due to the amount of Yellow Cards they have picked up. The referee could possibly have a big impact on the return match if he decides to be a little cavalier with his cards. Real Madrid CB signee Eder Militao, Defensive Mid-fielder Danilo, and Attacking Mid-fielder Otavio, are all one Yellow away from missing next Wednesday’s return leg.
How They Got Here
Liverpool arrive in the quarter-finals after finishing second in their group. After a 0-0 draw against Bayern in the first leg, the second saw them go in to the Allianz and come home with a sound 3-1 win.
Porto on the other hand won their group. They amassed sixteen out of a possible eighteen points. One must take into account though the strength of their group though. Schalke finished second in that group, and got the brakes beat off of them by ADFC 10-2 over two legs. Porto lost their first leg at Roma, 2-1 but found the fortitude to come back and win 3-1 at home. taking the tie 4-3 on aggregate.
Lineup and Score Prediction
Alisson will look to keep that all important away goal off the board, as he will glove up at keeper. Trent will slot in at left back. Joel Matip will lineup at the one Center Back position. The other will be of course occupied by our Center Half and number four. The best CB in the world, Virgil Van Dijk. It has to be Milly at the LB doesn’t it? Klopp cannot possibly parade Moreno out there now can he? I think he does go with Milly. Look for the middle of the pitch to be taken up by Fabinho, Gini, and Hendo. Hopefully the Captain can follow-up on his brilliant performance from Friday. Up front you ask? Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, The King, Sadio, and our Number Nine.
The more things change, the more they stay the same! 3-0 Reds. Too much pace, skill, and class for Porto to handle. Mo will take advantage of Telles either not being there, or not being 100%. The winner on Friday was just the beginning for him. He’s about to go Imhotep, and instead of swallowing up the desert like in “The Mummy”, he’s about to swallow up the competition. Let’s get crazy and predict Mo to be the Hat Trick Hero and MOTM!!
We’re goin off the rails on the Trophy Train! No sleep til Madrid! ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ!!! COME ON YOU REDS!