Wednesday night will feature some very interesting matchups, but it will also be the round after which many things could be cleared when it comes to which teams could advance to the next round and which teams will be knocked out from further European competitions!!!
The matchup in group G between FC Porto and Club Brugge could be one of those games, as FC Porto finds themselves in a perfect position to get back on the track of chasing the knockout stage. Namely, with the group leader Leicester City hosting the second ranked Copenhagen FC, Porto will look for a win in order to pass Copenhagen for the second place and be in a good position to reach the knockout stage with two rounds to go.
Porto has not started the Champions league campaign as they recorded a draw against Copenhagen at home in the opening round, and a loss in the second round to Leicester City (away). However, the away 2:1 win against Club Brugge two weeks ago, gives them high hopes to get back in contention. Andre Silva gave Porto a 2:1 win with a late penalty in a game that once again proved the Portuguese team to be in a poor form. Domestically they have not been in a better form either, as they are currently ranked 2nd, but 5 points behind the first ranked Benfica. It seems that Benfica could be the top team in Portugal’s Primiera Division this season, while Porto will lean towards success in the European Cups!!! The new coach Nuno has a good chance tonight to get his team back on a winning streak and possibly turn around the season in their favor. Additionally, a positive thing for the home team will be the fact that there are no injured players, so all of the key players will be at disposal!!!
Club Brugge will have its last chance to sneak up on to the third spot that could leave them in the Europa league in the spring. However, their performances in the first three rounds revealed that the team is not ready to play against bigger European teams, even though they have been placed in one of the weaker groups off all!!!
So far the Belgian champion has not won a single point in the UCL, with a disappointing 1:9 goal differential. They were on the right track two weeks ago at home against Porto, taking the lead in the 12th minute and holding the lead all the way up to the 68th minute. More devastating was the late Porto goal who crashed all of the Belgian team’s hopes of winning their first points of the campaign, and staying alive in the race of catching up the leaders in the group!!!
Domestically, they have not been playing any better, either, as they are currently ranked at the 5th spot with 23 points from 13 games. It seems like they will have tough time to defend the Belgian Jupiler league title!!! De Bock, Engels, Rafaelov and Simons remain sidelined for the match.
Porto is a clear favorite to win this match, let it be clear right away. I just don’t see the Belgian side making troubles to the former Champions league winner, especially not in front of their frenetic fans. Expect a very open game on both sides of the pitch, with at least 3 goals. I don’t expect the visitors to score a goal tonight. But either way, Porto should win without too much trouble!!!
FC Porto expected lineup: Casillas; Alex Telles, Marcano, Felipe, Layún; Danilo, Herrera, Otávio; Óliver Torres, Diogo Jota, André Silva.
Club Brugge expected lineup: Butelle; Van Rijn, Poulain, Denswil, Cools; Claudemir, Pina; Vanaken, Vormer, Limbombe; Vossen.
FC Porto vs Club Brugge
UEFA Champions League – Group G
Date: Wednesday, 2nd November, 2016,
Kick-Off: 20:45 CET,
Venue: Estado do Dragao, Porto