Europe – Champions League
Date: Wednesday, 7th April 2021
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
Looking unlikely to reclaim their domestic title, Porto entered the UEFA Champions League (UCL) quarter final (QF) draw as the outright outsiders, despite eliminating Italian champions Juventus in the Round of 16 (R16). The lost second leg bookended Porto’s mini unbeaten run in UCL games against opposition from a top-five European league (W3, D1) – both home wins saw Porto strike first inside five minutes.
Further to their status as outright long-shots, the ‘Dragões’ are the only remaining team from outside one of Europe’s top-five domestic leagues, and have lost four games out of their last six against English sides. All of those defeats saw Porto lose by 2+ goals (average margin: 3.00).
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will be expecting a reaction, following his side’s shock 5-2 Easter Saturday defeat to West Bromwich Albion. It came after Chelsea went the whole of March without conceding (W4, D1), with the ‘Blues’ winning 1-0 in seven of eight individual halves across those victories, amongst which was a R16 second-leg victory vs Atlético Madrid.
The R16 saw Chelsea restrict their La Liga-leading opponents to just 2.50 shots on target per game over 180+ minutes. That represents a decrease of 0.75 on the average Chelsea permitted their two lower-seeded group stage opponents per game. In turn, Chelsea have a 100% record from the last eight UCL away games to see them open the scoring.
Players to watch: Porto striker Moussa Marega has scored twice so far in this season’s UCL, with both strikes being decisive goals inside the first five minutes of either half in matches producing exactly three total goals. A man reborn under Tuchel, Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech has seen his last three openers in the UCL ‘competition proper’ act decisively in clean-sheet wins.
Hot stat: Chelsea have averaged 1.75 goals beyond the hour mark across a preceding run of four straight UCL away wins compared to just 1.00 before.
- Porto’s form in last 5 matches: WWWLW.
- Chelsea’s form in last 5 matches: LWWDW
PREDICTION: Under 4.5