Champions League Quarter Final, Second Leg Preview – Porto vs Man Utd

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If I was a Man Utd fan I’d be a little concerned about tonight’s game at Estadio do Dragao against Porto. Following a 2-2 draw in the first leg at Old Trafford, Fergie’s side have somewhat of an uphill battle tonight in my opinion. Consider the following:


  • In eleven home games against English opposition Porto have never lost.
  • Of their nine Champions League games this season Man Utd have only actually won three matches Aalborg away and Celtic and Inter at home. Only one of those teams are any good.
  • If Porto score, United need two goals which given they are the joint lowest scorers of teams remaining might prove difficult.
  • Ronaldo has one solitary goal in Europe this year, in the last round against Inter.

 

I’m not completely writing United off, there are plenty of stats that work in their favour too but essentially it’s win or bust as I don’t see a high scoring draw. Porto do have the worst defence of any quarter finalist, with just two clean sheets thus far against Arsenal and Atletico. Ferdinand will be back to play alongside Vidic at the back, thus greatly improving their chances of a clean sheet. Up front Ferguson will have both Rooney and Berbatov available, important given they both have four Champions League goals this season. Tevez will be available from the bench as well as Macheda who has won two consecutive league games. I reckon much will depend on Michael Carrick’s ability to control things from midfield. I’m a bit undecided about him truth be told. He seems like the kind of player who plays well when United win convincingly but is rarely the guy who drives them to a gritty victory away from home. I’m willing to stand corrected by any Man Utd fans, it’s just the impression I’ve got from watching him.


 

Will it be something akin to this?

Will it be something akin to this?

 

 

Porto will do well to take heed from Chelsea’s performance last night. Though they don’t have a commanding 3-1 lead from the first leg, the advantage is with them and they won’t want to sit back and invite United forward. A goal from Lisandro or Hulk would make things very difficult for Fergie, as I’m sure he’s looking to play for a 1-0 victory. This game goes one of two ways; either United produce one their memorable European nights and are defensively solid whilst nicking the goal they need OR they are frustrated by Porto who score early and control the game whilst riling Rooney and Ronaldo into bookings and tetchy performances. If C-Ron turns it on tonight against his former rivals than I think United will sneak it. But, given how he hasn’t really performed in Europe this season (big game bottler? ahem…) I think the Portugeezer will be beaten by the Portugeezers.

  

Or more like this? (I couldn't find a decent pic of Leverkusen '02)

Or more like this? (I couldn't find a decent pic of Leverkusen '02)

 

 

T.

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