Playing their Champions League first leg quarterfinal clash at home against Porto, should give Jurgen Klopp and his team some confidence and potentially some breathing space if they can put in the sort of home performance we have seen throughout the season. Form Labs bring you their betting preview and tips for the game and as ever we have plenty of value waiting for you with our selection of enhanced odds available in our FanBoosts section.
Comfortable Win Last Time Out For Liverpool
These two met in the knockout rounds on Liverpool’s path to the final last season, with the Reds enjoying a comfortable 5-0 win in the first leg before taking their foot off the gas and resting the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah in the return leg as they produced a goalless stalemate at Anfield.
Sadio Mane opened the scoring and produced a hat-trick in that first encounter and has now delivered 13 goals in his past 17 Champions League appearances, while recently he’s bagged 12 goals in 14 matches for club and country since mid-January.
Having netted the first of the game in six of the last seven where he’s found the net for Liverpool, he appears well-primed to do so once more.
Indeed, although Salah scored a magnificent effort 10 minutes from time against Southampton in their last outing, that was the Egyptians first goal in nine matches, while somehow both Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are at shorter prices to register on the board than the in-form Senegalese.
Have Porto Improved?
There’s little to suggest Porto are significantly better than in the previous campaign, with the Portuguese outfit failing to pull clear of their domestic rivals, topping the easiest of Champions League groups featuring Schalke, Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow, while they took advantage of an out-of-sorts Roma to make it through the last 16.
To put things into perspective, the other side to qualify from their group, Schalke, are currently 14th in the 18-team Bundesliga and were dismantled 10-2 over two legs by Man City in the previous round.
Liverpool have been showing plenty of grit and resolve lately with five consecutive victories as they’ve overcome Bayern and navigated some potentially tricky fixtures to keep pace with City in the title race domestically.
They’ve refused to give up with late goals in all of these games, and while they failed to keep a clean sheet across them, their home form this season suggests they’ll pass this test regardless.
Liverpool v Porto Betting Tips
They’ve won 13 of 15 unbeaten fixtures at Anfield since late October, including victories over the likes of Napoli, Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs, though those latter three sides did make it onto the scoreboard in defeat and Porto have the tools to do likewise.
The visitors have found the net in 14 out of 16 Champions League matches under Sergio Conceicao since the start of last season, while they’ve only drawn a blank in three of 48 matches across all competitions this term.
Moreover, Portuguese sides are just W1-D5-L18 when travelling to face English teams in the Champions League this century, but they found the net in 14 of these and given Joel Matip hasn’t appeared quite so solid recently at the back for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has a big call to make as to whether he should stick with the Cameroonian or plump for the much-maligned Dejan Lovren instead.
Porto themselves have lost nine of 11 trips to English shores since 2004/05, with six of these by at least two clear goals, and we don’t expect a reverse of fortunes.
However, they can grab a consolation effort here, although it may or may not be enough to keep the tie alive ahead of the return leg.
Indeed, both sides have a troubling suspension to contend with as Porto are deprived of the experience of Pepe at the back, while Andy Robertson is a big loss for Liverpool as the Reds have failed to keep a clean sheet in all four games that Scotland captain has missed this term.
Klopp will be forced to either use the defensively unsure Alberto Moreno or shoehorn James Milner in at left-back, and hat will undoubtedly be an area that Porto will seek to target.
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