Roma v Porto Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 12/02/19
Football specialist James O’Rourke (@JamesOR1) previews Roma v Porto and provides us with his best bets for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg tie by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +2.07pts
Roma v Porto Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 12/02/19
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
- Channel: BT Sport 3
Roma even managed to lose their final two group matches to Real Madrid and Plzen, but they still managed to secure second spot in Group G to progress into the knockout rounds. It has ultimately been a disappointing campaign overall for three-time Serie A Champions, even if their league position doesn’t necessarily reflect that. They won’t be making that a fourth this time with Juventus well clear at the top of the Italian standings. Even making the top four is anything but guaranteed given they are battling with many other clubs for one of these coveted slots. Juve and Napoli will claim first and second, in whatever order, but as many as six others are realistically battling for third and fourth, including Roma. They’d have had higher aspirations at the beginning of the campaign. It was only a few weeks ago that Roma saw their Coppa Italia hopes ended by Fiorentina when losing 7-1. That score has not been forgotten and the pressure on Head Coach Eusebio Di Francesco remains high enough to know he really needs a decent result out of this first leg meeting. They did claim a comfortable win over Chievo on Friday night, meaning they’ve lost just once in the league since November.
Porto enjoyed much more of a smooth and routine passage to this stage of the competition. Group D always looked quite a favourable group for Sérgio Conceição and his players to negotiate, and that proved to be the case. They went unbeaten in their six group matches, winning five and drawing once. Things don’t get any easier once entering knockout football at this level, but the reigning Primeira Liga champions will certainly fancy their chances over two legs. These two met in the Champions League back in 2016 in a qualification play-of. Porto winning over the two games by a 4-1 aggregate (3-0 and 1-1). Porto last made their mark on the European stage in the days of Jose Mourinho, who guided them to the title back in 2004. Repeating that is not impossible, albeit unlikely. They were held to a 1-1 draw away to Moreirense on Friday, needing a very late equaliser to prevent them losing only their third league clash of the season.
The Italian side have a few injury doubts heading into this contest. First choice goalkeeper Robin Olsen and key defender Kostas Manolas sat out the trip to Chievo on Friday. It is hoped that the duo will both be able to participate. Skipper Daniele De Rossi is not long back from a long-term absence so the club will look to wrap him up in cotton wool in order for him to take to the field for this important clash. Patrik Schick misses out with a muscular problem, which is a blow as he has been in good form. Alessandro Florenzi however is a great alternative to call upon. Di Francesco prefers to play a 4-3-3 formation, but there have been calls to potentially switch back to a 4-2-3-1 shape. Cengiz Ünder and Diego Perotti remain out of action.
Clubs are allowed to manoeuvre their registered squads for the Champions League from the Group Stages and Porto have added a few handy faces to their roster. Key striker Tiquinho Soares can play, whilst veteran centre back Pepe rejoined the club in January after leaving Besiktas. He won the Champions League on three occasions during his time at Real Madrid. Bad news however is that top scorer Moussa Marega will play no part after recently being ruled out with a thigh strain. He suffered the problem in the recent away draw to Guimaraes, and won’t be back for another two months at least. Vincent Aboubakar is a long-term absentee, whilst experienced full back Maximiliano Pereira is another notable absentee. Jesús Corona is also banned, which further weakens Porto. They usually favour a 4-4-2, but a 4-3-3 was fielded in Friday’s clash at Moreirense. This means Danilo Pereira is a possible starter.
Potential Roma Starting XI: Robin Olson, Rick Karsdorp, Kostas Manolas, Federico Fazio, Aleksandar Kolorov, Bryan Cristante, Daniele De Rossi, Nicolo Naziolo, Alessandro Florenzi, Edin Dzeko, Stephan El Shaarawy.
Potential Porto Starting XI: Iker Casillas, Eder Militao, Pepe, Felipe, Alex Telles, Otavio, Oliver Torres, Hector Herrera, Yacine Brahimi, Tiquinho Soares, Fernando.
Head To Head
- The two sides met during the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season during a play-off to qualify for the group stages.
- Porto emerged over two legs, drawing 1-1 at home before triumphing 3-0 away from home to secure a 4-1 aggregate success. In the second leg, Roma were reduced to nine men after red cards being issued to Daniele De Rossi and now current Chelsea defender Emerson.
Key Stats & Facts
- In Roma’s last nine home matches in the UEFA Champions League, they have secured seven victories, defeating the likes of Barcelona, Liverpool and Chelsea. However, they’ve not kept a clean sheet in their last eight home league contests at the Stadio Olimpico.
- 82% of Roma home matchups in Serie A this season has witnessed 4+ goals within them.
- Porto previous ten away games in the UEFA Champions League has seen them suffer defeat only twice, going unbeaten in their latest five.
- Only Guimaraes (on the opening day) and Benfica have beaten Porto in 90-minutes over the current season in all competitions.
- Roma 11/10
- Draw 12/5
- Porto 13/5
Defeating Porto over the course of this season so far has proved a challenge for every side that has faced them, including in the UEFA Champions League. However, they will enter this contest below full strength and that is why I cannot back them in what will be a tough away assignment. They are at their best when playing on the front foot, but they have to be wary of potentially losing this tie before the second leg even begins. That is because Roma are quite a force in Europe on home soil.
Roma have beaten stronger opponents than Porto at the Stadio Olimpico in more recent times and the players will be looking for their passionate crowd to roar them onto victory on this occasion. It is important that they take a lead into the second leg, as Porto are have a fortress of their own in the form of the Estádio do Dragão.
The play-off from 2016 will still very much be in the memory of many in the Roma camp and they might feel a degree of payback is required in this particular tie. Only Real Madrid and lowly SPAL have defeated them at home this season, and scoring goals is never really an issue for them. Having De Rossi back could begin to help shore them up defensively.