Porto - Liverpool team news and starting line-up
The latest team news going into tonight's Champions League quarter final return leg at Estádio do Dragão with Liverpool 2-0 up in the tie against hosts Porto.
For the second year running, Liverpool find themselves in an advantageous position going into the second leg of the Champion League quarter finals. They are guests of Porto at Estádio do Dragão this evening and go into the same with a 2-0 lead thanks to strikes from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino at Anfield last week. So Porto will have it all to do if they are to progress.
The Dragãoes have never beaten Liverpool in European competition although they did manage draws in the 2007 edition and in the quarter finals of the 2001 UEFA Cup – on both occasions, it was Liverpool who advanced all the way to the final. So while Klopp's men enter as the bookies favourites, we've seen enough shocks in this competition to risk saying that it's all done and dusted...
Porto vs Liverpool confirmed line-ups
Porto XI: Casillas; Militao, Brahimi, Pepe, Felipe, Telles; Danilo, Herrera; Octávio, Corona, Marega.
Subs: Vaná, Pereira, Costa, Hernani, , Óliver, Dos Santos, Soares.
Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho; Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mané, Origi.
Subs: Mignolet, Gomez, Henderson, Keita, Shaquiri, Sturridge, Origi.
Porto vs Liverpool: injuries and suspensions
Pepe, who Liverpool know well from the 2009 and 2014 meetings with Real Madrid, returns to central defence after missing the first leg through suspension. Also back available is Héctor Herrera who may shunt Óliver Torres onto the bench, the former Atlético de Madrid midfielder looked a little flustered last week at Anfield. Striker Vincent Aboubakar who has been out for some time with a knee ligament injury will be following events on TV from the comfort of his lounge. Otherwise, Porto have all of their star players fit.
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool go into the game pretty much at full strength and with just one notable absentee. Dejan Lovren has been feeling under the weather and has not made the trip to Portugal so Joel Matip is expected to line up alongside Virgil van Dijk. Also staying at home is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is back training and progressing well but has yet to return to first team action since suffering a knee ligament injury in last year’s tournament.
Porto vs Liverpool: what the managers said
Sérgio Conceição: “I like the way Liverpool play. Sometimes, they are the best team in the world. We have a two-goal deficit to make up against a very strong team who are quick on the break. Getting the attacking balance right is fundamental. The technical team will establish the game plan, then it's up to the players to put it into action. They are the responsible for everything good that has happened so far. We have to work for defensive organisation and we are 100 per cent focused and aware of what our opponents are doing. It is not difficult to analyse Liverpool, but it is difficult to counteract because they have so much individual and collective quality. They're great!”
Jürgen Klopp: “We are the best team in the world sometimes? Sometimes we are really good, that’s true, and hopefully we can show it again. Maybe I can understand a little bit why he says that because there are moments after we win the ball, or moments before we win the ball, or moments when the boys do some things, then it looks really, really good, that’s the truth, but that’s pretty much all. This is a compliment, but we still know we have a really tough job to do tomorrow – and probably he said that as well, that he still believes in their chances. Did he say that? Yes, OK, then it’s all good".
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