FC Copenhagen VS FC Porto Prediction
FC Copenhagen and Porto are on the eve of their second Champions League encounter, which is set to take place on Tuesday night, 22 November 2016. “Teli Parken” in Danish capital Copenhagen will be venue of a clash which can become a huge step towards eventual Round of 16 position for any of both sides, but mostly for the away side. If Porto wins against Copenhagen, “Dragons” will secure their position at the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League 1/8 finals, while Copenhagen will remain third in group G. On other hand, if Copenhagen takes the whole set of points, they’ll replace Porto from the second place and they’ll also remain in good position before matchday 6, when they’ll face Club Brugge. A draw can make situation even more tied up and then everything will depend on the last round when Porto will host to Leicester City.
FC Copenhagen vs FC Porto – Team News and Match Preview
First match between Copenhagen and Porto was on matchday one, when Danish champion stole a point from its visit at the “Estádio Do Dragão”, although they had to play with 10 men in last quarter of the match. Slovak midfielder Jan Gregus has been sent-off in 66th minute, but this wasn’t helpful enough to the home side and Nuno Espírito Santo’s men failed to close the game.
Two and a half months after their Champions League opener in Portugal, Copenhagen has full grounds to dream for a position at the knockout stage. In order to live the dream Ståle Solbakken’s men must find a way for winning, which will keep Copenhagen’s destiny entirely in their own abilities. Otherwise it will pretty much depends from final score of game between Porto and Leicester City, which will be held on Portuguese turf and we won’t be surprised if Leicester City has already secured its position at the 1/8 finals. Not the best possible scenario for Danish champions and that explains why they should aim winning. Prerequisites for this are not bad as we must highlight FCK is unbeaten in five European home fixtures this season, keeping a clean sheet in each one of them. Four of them were victories and the only draw came last round, when game between Copenhagen and Leicester City ended without any goals.
Copenhagen’s domestic run also secures some extra confidence as we find them on top of the Danish Superliga table, where FCK holds nine-points advantage above runner-ups Brøndby and Randers, remaining undefeated after 17 rounds. In fact Copenhagen suffered only one defeat within the 2016-17 season and that happened on English turf, where FCK lost 1-0 to Leicester City in mid-October.
Porto cannot boast with such a streak but of course, it’s difficult to compare Danish league and Portuguese Primeira Liga, where “Dragons” must compete with rivals like Benfica, Sporting CP, Braga and some other teams which show progress – like fourth-placed Vitória Guimarães for example. Last weekend all Portuguese teams were engaged in the Portuguese Cup, where Porto was surprisingly eliminated by Chaves (6th in the Primeira Liga) on Friday night. Both teams couldn’t score for 120 games and game went to penalties, where Miguel Layún, Laurent Depoitre and André Silva have all missed their penalties and Chaves won with 3-2. Thus Porto has been once again eliminated from that competition after penalties, since most of you may remember “Dragons” have lost the 2016 Portuguese Cup Final from Braga after a penalty shootout.
Meanwhile, Porto occupies second position in the league and squad led by Nuno Espírito Santo surely regrets they’ve missed to reduce gap between them and leaders Benfica. That happened right prior break for international football when we had first edition of “O Clássico” (The Classic) facing Porto and Benfica. Diogo Jota opened the score in 50th minute and eventual victory of Porto would move them on just two points behind “Eagles” from Lisbon. but reality is different, to frustrate their ambitions. Defense of “The Dragons” cracked in closing seconds of the game, under Benfica’s siege, when Lisandro López scored for final 1-1 on the score sheet. This leaves Porto with 21 points after 10 league rounds and we believe their Cup elimination won’t affect to the overall attitude, since the Champions League certainly comes with different priority.
FC Copenhagen vs FC Porto – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
FC Copenhagen will have to fight for glory but their offensive capability has been seriously damaged and coach Ståle Solbakken has a serious headache. First of all Paraguayan striker Federico Santander sustained a thigh injury while he was on international duty last week, where he was subbed after 38 minutes against Peru. He missed the 2-1 victory against AaB on Friday night, but despite good news from winning that game, FCK must cope with bad news coming from another injury of a key player. Andreas Cornelius pulled his hamstring in that game and he was replaced by Benjamin Verbic only 10 minutes after kick-off. Thus Solbakken has an important decision to take and he’ll have to chose whether he’ll stick to the 4-4-2 formation, or he’ll start with different formation – probably something like 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1. Andrija Pavlovic remains only typical striker in FCK’s formation and his starting position here looks unquestionable, but absence of the two main strikers is a huge blow for Danish team.
Rasmus Falk Jensen, Kasper Kusk and Benjamin Verbic are all possible options and we won’t be surprised if Jensen starts as a second striker, closely behind Pavlovic. He already has some experience on that position but only Ståle Solbakken can be totally sure for his approach.
Porto arrived in Denmark without versatile Mexican defender Miguel Layun, who complains from a left thigh injury. His position at the right-back will most likely be covered by experienced Uruguayan defender Maxi Pereira. Another player who also misses out travelling to Denmark is young talented midfielder Ruben Neves. Nevertheless, Nuno Espírito Santo prefers to start with different midfield formation anyway, where we have the UEFA Euro 2016 winner Danilo Pereira with more defensive functions, playing between defense and midfield, while Oliver Torres, Otavio and Hector Herrera are those with more creative responsibilities.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
Porto’s biggest worries are regarding their toothless attack and we can clearly see this in fact they have scored just two goals in their last four games, despite having a total of 80 shots on goal across those encounters. Young attackers like André Silva and Diogo Jota have serious responsibility on their shoulder and they’ll have to meet the expectations of all fans on Tuesday evening. Anyhow, Nuno Espírito Santo still has players with bigger experience like Silvestre Varela, Yacine Brahimi, Adrian Lopez, Jesus Corona and Laurent Depoitre, who are all eager for more first-team football.
Copenhagen must chase victory and it’ll be interesting to follow what impact both major injuries can bring to the overall look of the team.
FCK can rely on its home advantage, superb form and mostly on their home perfection in this season’s UEFA Champions League, but in our opinion Porto has proved its European establishment through the years. It’s true we have some younger and new faces in the squad, but we all know Porto’s brilliant work when it comes to recognizing talented footballers. The least they can do here is to avoid losing, but we even find good arguments tipping for the away win. For more safety we’d like to recommend betting for Porto with the Asian Handicap 0 (Draw No Bet) on their side.
Venue: “Telia Parken”, Copenhagen.
Referee: Milorad Mazic from Serbia.
Possible starting lineups of FC Copenhagen and FC Porto
FC Copenhagen: Robin Olsen – Ludwig Augustinsson, Erik Johansson, Mathias Jørgensen, Peter Ankersen – Youssef Toutouh, William Kvist, Thomas Delaney, Benjmin Verbic – Rasmus Falk Jensen, Andrija Pavlovic. (4-4-2)
FC Porto: Iker Casillas – Maxi Pereira, Felipe, Ivan Marcano, Alex Telles – Danilo Pereira – Otavio, Oliver Torres, Hector Herrera – Diogo Jota, Andre Silva. (4-1-3-2)