Portuguese giant, FC Porto will have a huge mountain to climb as they will be traveling to Spain to take in London side, Chelsea, in a bid to overturn a 2-0 deficit at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.
There have been nine Champions League meetings between these two teams, with Chelsea winning just 6 games, while Porto have won 2 matches, and the other game ended in a draw.
Chelsea will be coming into this clash with a clean slate, no new injury worry, and no suspension. Porto, on the other hand, will be without Mouhamed Mbaye due to injury, and their two top scorers Mehdi Taremi and Sérgio Oliveira, who missed the first leg due to suspension will be available for this tie.
FC Porto manager, Sérgio Conceição said they are confident of turning the tie around. He said: We are confident. We know that we face a difficult task, but we are here to give the answer that we have to give. The feeling you get from representing this historic club is always there on the pitch. In these games, going all out from the off can be harmful.”
The Portuguese continued: “We have to be a compact, cohesive team. We have to score goals, but also to avoid conceding. We were good in the first leg, but not very good; if we were, we would have won. We will try to improve on what was a good team performance.”
Chelsea boss, Thoman Tuchel revealed that his team will be taking a more direct approach. He said: “That doesn’t always work out, we have to accept against Porto that the game will be up and down. In some instances [in the first leg] we controlled the match, created half chances, good counter-pressing but then in some minutes, they escaped the pressure. Sometimes they overload sides and give you a lot of questions. In the first leg, we experienced ups and downs, then the momentum shifted, this is what you have to accept against them.”
He continued on their approach to games: “We don’t approach games like this or change the approach. For us it is important that we focus on us, play the best game possible as this increases the chances to have a result. In terms of a result, it is easier for Porto because they need to score three goals to get through, for them if it is clear. For us, if we start in this way then we could completely lose our heads. I hope we embrace the challenge and feel it.”
Thomas Tuchel’s team won the first leg away and they will be playing at home now, it will be difficult to see anything other than a win for the Blues. For Porto to qualify, they will have to win by a 3-goal margin or 2-goal margin (if both of them score). This looks like a lost cause and the Blues are expected to qualify.