FC Porto v FC Basel Tips on Champions League

By on March 12, 2015

FC Porto host Swiss side FC basel at the Estadio Do Dragao on Tuesday night as Julen Lopetegui’s side look to take advantage of their away goal and make their way into the quarter finals of the tournament.

It was the first ever meeting betweent he two sides in the first leg of this fixture and it would fair to say that both the coaches were conservative in their approach. FC porto dominated most of that game which is evident from their wooping 15 shots on goal, 7 of which hit the target, as compared to FC Basel’s 1. However, despite all those chances, Julen Lopetegui’s side failed to make the most of any and soon fell behind through Gonzalez’s goal in the first half. FC Basel’s stout defensive performance kept the Portuguese at bay for most parts of the game till the penalty incident in the second half. Porto right back Danilo stepped up to the spot and secured a draw for Lopetegui’s side as well as a valuable away goal.

FC Porto head into the second leg of this fixture, much happier of the two sides as they have an away goal from the first leg and that is smoething that Lopetegui’s team can build on. They have bene in excellent from recently and will most likely dominate this game as they did the first. However, what is important for Porto here is to make the most of their chances and not be as wasteful as they were in the first leg because FC Basel might be a defensive side but they can hurt their opponents on the break and if they pull another goal in this game then things could get difficult for Porto. Lopetegui knows that his side only need a 0-0 draw at minimum to progress to the next round which means the fans can expect a defensive approach to the game so as to avoid conceding another early goal. As the game goes on and FC Basel grow impatient, that is where Porto can hurt them and put them game beyond doubt.

FC Porto have been in excellent from recently having won four of their last five games in all competitions while drawing just one. That draw, in fact, came in the first leg of this tie. Their last game was the 1-0 away win against Sporting Braga. Porto are undefeated in their last 9 matches in the Champions League.

FC Basel boss Paulo Sousa would have been disappointed by the result from the first leg. Although his side were completely dominated by the Portuguese, they were pretty solid in defence and only conceded the away goal through a penalty. However, that is behind them as they now have to try and neutralize that away goal. Sousa knows that his side are on the back foot here and they need a goal in the second leg if they are to have any chances of going through, and that means a much more aggressive approach to the game as compared to the first leg. This also leaves them vulnerable at the back which is something that Porto boass Julen Lopetegui will use to his advantage. This is where Paulo Sousa’s abilities will be truly tested. His side need a goal and how he achieves this offensive mentality without leaving spaces at the back will be interesting to see. Porto will be without their star striker Jackson Martinez and this is something that would give Sousa some hope ahead of this game. Furthermore, the return of Schar to Basel’s defense will add much more solidarity and allow the strikers to attack more freely. This is set to be a very tight game where the winning margin will be very slight.

FC Basel have been in very good form themselves having won three of their last five games in all competitions while losing one and drawing the other. That loss came against BSC Young Boys in the away game. Their last game was the 3-0 home win over FC Thun.

FC Porto have a few injury worries ahead of this game as Oliver Torres and Adrian are set to miss out. Ruben Neves is likely to replace Torres in midfield. However, the biggest blow will be the absence of Jackson Martinez who is also suffering from an injury and may be out for upto a month. Vincent Aboubakar could be his replacement in the starting XI.

FC Basel will be without two of their players as well as Ivan Ivanov and Marek Suchy are out with injuries. However, Fabian Schar returns from suspension and could be a direct replacement for Suchy. Paulo Sousa is expected to start with most of the same team that started the first leg.

DATE: March 10, 2015

TIME: 7:45 PM GMT

VENUE: Estadio Do Dragao, Porto

REFEREE: Jonas Eriksson

PROBABLE LINE-UPS:
FC Porto (4-3-3):- Fabiano; Sandro, Marcano, Maicon, Danilo; Herrera, Casemiro, Neves; Brahimi, Aboubakar, Tello
FC Basel (4-2-3-1):- Vaclik; Safari, Samuel, Schar, Xhaka; Elneny, Frei; Gashi, Zuffi, Gonzalez; Streller

1st LEG RESULT: February 18, 2015 | FC Basel 1-1 FC Porto

RECENT FORM:
FC Porto:- W W W D W
FC Basel:- W W W L D

AUTHOR’s PREDICTION: FC Porto 2-1 FC Basel

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