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Porto vs Arsenal: Prediction and Preview


Porto vs Arsenal: Prediction and Preview


Porto vs Arsenal: Prediction and Preview 

Competing at the Premier League summit, Mikel Arteta’s attention turns to the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. Here, we look ahead to his upcoming game with our Porto vs Arsenal prediction and preview.

Porto vs Arsenal Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer predicts an Arsenal win, with the away side triumphing in 53.6% of pre-match simulations against Porto.
  • Bukayo Saka has been involved in more UEFA Champions League goals this season (three goals, four assists) than any other player.
  • Porto have been eliminated from seven of their eight Champions League knockout ties against English opposition.

Match Preview

Arsenal have not reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals since the days of Arsène Wenger but Mikel Arteta will fancy their chances as his side prepare to visit Porto for the first leg of the round-of-16 clash on Wednesday at Estádio Do Dragão.

Wenger, now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, guided Arsenal to the final of this competition in 2005-06 but the Gunners have not passed the last-16 stage since overcoming Wednesday’s opponents back in 2009-10.

Flying high in contention for the Premier League title alongside Liverpool and Manchester City, Arteta’s new-look Arsenal have an opportunity to ease years of European pain after breezing through to the round-of-16 draw by topping Group B.

Arsenal hammered PSV 4-0 and Lens 6-0, as well as defeating Sevilla both home and away, with the north London club making light work of a favourable group-stage draw. Their European success can largely be credited to Saka, who has been involved in more Champions League goals this season than any other player (three goals, four assists), with the young Englishman averaging a goal involvement every 48 minutes in the competition so far.

Bukayo Saka goal involvements champions league

Gabriel Jesus has provided some much-needed continental experience for Arteta’s youthful side, too. In a run stretching back to November 2018 with Manchester City, the Brazilian striker has been involved in 20 goals in his last 18 Champions League starts (15 goals, five assists), while he’s been involved in six goals in four starts for the Gunners so far this term (four goals, two assists).

However, with a rare quarter-final appearance within touching distance, Arsenal must banish their last-16 demons of yesteryear. Since this stage was introduced in the Champions League in 2003-04, Arsenal have gone out at this point more than any other side (nine).

That woeful run of European luck includes exiting in each of their last seven appearances in the competition between 2010-11 and 2016-17, although Wednesday’s hosts Porto are second in that same unwanted ranking with eight last-16 eliminations.

Arsenal’s team news largely remains the same: Jurriën Timber, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey are unavailable through injury, though former Porto midfielder Fábio Vieira, Jesus and Takehiro Tomiyasu will likely be fit enough to make the squad for Wednesday’s kick-off.

Porto battled their way through to second place in Group H – albeit level on points with table-toppers Barcelona – after defeating Shakhtar Donetsk 5-3 on Matchday 6 in a winner-takes-all decider for knockout-stage progression. Sérgio Conceição’s team overcame the Ukrainian side both home and away, as they did against Antwerp, while Galeno and Evanilson have led the way for the Portuguese side in UEFA’s top club competition, with the pair scoring four goals each.

However, a tough task awaits against the in-form Premier League side, who have smashed Burnley 5-0 and West Ham 6-0 in their last two away domestic outings. Porto are third in the Primeira Liga table, four points behind Benfica and Sporting CP, after Galeno and João Mário scored in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Estrela Amadora.

Experienced defender Fábio Cardoso missed that domestic win through suspension but will be available for the first leg, while Alan Varela overcame an injury scare and also featured in Saturday’s league victory. Iván Marcano remains out, though, after suffering an ACL injury back in September.

Porto vs Arsenal Head-to-Head

The last time Arsenal progressed past to the Champions League quarter-finals came with a 6-2 aggregate victory over Porto in the 2009-10 campaign. Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick at the Emirates for the Gunners in that tie.

The positive omens carry on for Arteta’s side, too, considering Arsenal have won all three of their home Champions League games against FC Porto by an aggregate score of 11-0. However, they are winless in all three away games (D1 L2).

Porto have also struggled against English sides in recent years, suffering elimination from seven of their eight such knockout ties in UEFA’s premier club competition, with the exception being a round-of-16 victory over Manchester United on their way to winning the trophy in 2003-04.

Victory for Arsenal here could be a good sign as well, given each of the last five teams to eliminate Porto in the knockout rounds of the competition has gone on to reach the final that year – Juventus in 2016-17 (last 16), Liverpool in 2017-18 (last 16) and 2018-19 (quarter-final), Chelsea in 2020-21 (quarter-final) and Inter last season (last 16).

Recent Form

Porto manager Conceição will want to keep it tight in the opening stages since Arsenal have scored more first-half goals than any other side in the Champions League this season, with 12 of their 16 strikes coming before half-time.

The Gunners have scored in the opening 45 minutes in each of their last 13 Champions League games as well, the longest such run in European Cup history, while Arteta’s men have managed 5+ goals in back-to-back away Premier League matches for the first time in the club’s history after smashing Burnley and West Ham.

arsenal xg map champions league 2023-24

With that imperious form in front of goal, expect an entertaining clash here, considering Porto have also scored seven goals in their last two Champions League home games – against Shakhtar and Antwerp – as many as they had in their previous nine home matches in the competition combined.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Porto vs Arsenal Prediction

Porto vs Arsenal Prediction

Arsenal are deemed big favourites to take a first-leg lead back to London, given a 53.6% chance of winning this match according to the Opta supercomputer. Porto are given a 21.8% chance, leaving the draw rated at 24.6%.

After the last-16 draw, Arsenal were given an 8.4% chance of winning the Champions League for the first time.

The Gunners also made the final in 18.4% of 10,000 2023-24 Champions League projections, with quarter-final progression ranked at 67.2%, compared to 32.8% for Porto.

Porto vs Arsenal UCL Squads

Porto: Cláudio Ramos, Gonçalo Ribeiro, Diogo Costa, Fábio Cardoso, Pepe, Iván Marcano, Zaidu, Jorge Sánchez, Wendell, Otávio, Martim Fernandes, Zé Pedro, Stephen Eustáquio, Marko Grujić, Nico González, Iván Jaime, André Franco, Alan Varela, Romário Baró, Vasco Sousa, Bernardo Folha, Mehdi Taremi, Francisco Conceição, Pepê, Galeno, Danny Namaso, João Mário, Toni Martínez, Evanilson, Gonçalo Borges.

Coach: Sérgio Conceição

Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale, David Raya, Karl Hein, William Saliba, Ben White, Gabriel, Jurriën Timber, Jakub Kiwior, Cédric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey, Martin Ødegaard, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Fábio Vieira, Mohamed Elneny, Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, Myles Lewis-Skelly, Ethan Nwaneri, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson.

Coach: Mikel Arteta

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