Porto vs Liverpool 2019 UEFA Champions League Odds & Expert Pick

Posted by Derrick Harper on April 16, 2019 in

Liverpool will be hoping to cling to their 2-0 aggregate lead when they play the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals Wednesday at FC Porto. On the road, the English side has a money line of +101 while Porto is an underdog at +254 with a draw set at +230.

Outside of their 2-0 loss at Anfield in the first leg, Porto has been in great form lately. They have won six of their last seven games in the Portuguese Liga, including a 3-0 win over Portimonense over the weekend despite a lot of squad rotation. However, they are also locked in a tight race with Benfica for the league title, so their full focus may not be on Champions League.

Of course, Liverpool is in a similar position. Despite being top of the table in the Premier League, the Reds know they can’t afford to slip up in league play, even after a convincing performance against Chelsea in a 2-0 win on Sunday. That leaves open the potential of Liverpool taking their foot off the gas on Wednesday, especially with a comfortable 2-0 lead in the aggregate.

Porto vs Liverpool 2019 UEFA Champions League Odds & Expert Pick

Foot on the Gas for Porto vs Liverpool?

Liverpool is comfortable, but perhaps too comfortable, heading into this match. With a 2-0 aggregate lead, Jurgen Klopp may make several lineup changes, especially since his changes were limited between the first leg last week and the weekend game with Chelsea. Too many changes could potentially throw the Reds out of rhythm and make it more difficult for them to be at their best.

The biggest questions are related to the front line. Liverpool has enough depth to rotate the midfield positions, but will Klopp give a rest to either Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, or Roberto Firmino. Liverpool has good options if Klopp wants to change things up, namely Xherdan Shaquiri. But Mane has been tremendous all season and Salah is starting to get his form back after a spectacular goal on Sunday against Chelsea. Sitting one of the three could be risky, especially when an early goal could put the tie to bed.

Time to Push the Envelope

Meanwhile, Porto knows they have to go all out if they want to advance in the competition. Porto will have to push forward and take some chances, knowing they need at least two goals, probably more, to win the aggregate score. Naturally, that can be a dangerous tactic against Liverpool, even if one or two of their big guns up front starts the game on the bench.

The good news is that the Portuguese side has scored at least two goals in eight of their last 10 games. However, the two exceptions to that are games against Liverpool and Benfica, by far the best teams they’ve faced during that span. It remains to be seen whether Porto has the offensive firepower to keep pace with a club like Liverpool.

Uninspired for Porto vs Liverpool

Oddly enough, neither team figures to be all-in on this game. Even if Liverpool pulls back on their attack, their defense is still tough to crack with Virgil van Dijk leading the back line. In the end, neither team will produce much in the final third. Bet on this game ending in a draw, making it easy for Liverpool to advance.