FC Porto - Barcelona predictions and free betting tips [04/10/2023]
On Wednesday, as part of Matchday 2 of the Champions League group stage, Porto will host Barcelona at the "Dragao" stadium in Porto.
Porto: Costa, Wendell, Carmo, Cardozo, Joao Mario, Galeno, Varela, Eustaquio, Baro, Taremi, Pepe.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Cancelo, Kounde, Christensen, Balde, Marin, Gavi, Gundogan, Jamal, Lewandowski, Felix.
In the domestic league, Porto is currently ranked 3rd, trailing the leader, Sporting, by 3 points. In the previous round, the squad lost the Portuguese derby to Benfica 0:1. Head coach Sérgio Conceição deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation. In the Champions League, the "Dragons" started with a 3:1 victory over the Donetsk Shakhtar, with Wenderson Galeno being named the player of the week – he scored 2 goals and assisted 1. Porto operates with a pragmatic approach, effectively neutralising the attacking prowess of opponents with a tactical small foul strategy. Conceição will be without veteran Pepe due to injury. Nonetheless, he managed to keep the club's top scorer for the past three years, Iranian Taremi, who was believed to be close to moving to Milan but decided to stay after receiving a pay rise. However, he is not in his best shape at the moment. Taremi has stopped scoring despite continuing to make the starting line-up. Conceição doesn't like to rotate the squad.
It is crucial for Barcelona to perform well in this season's Champions League. The Catalan team confirmed their ambitions in the first round – beating Antwerp 5:0, with Xavi using a 4-3-3 line-up. In the domestic league, the club ranks 2nd, trailing Real Madrid by 1 point. Over the weekend, they defeated Sevilla by a minimal score. The Catalans are gradually changing: Xavi abandoned the defensive model and started deploying a more attacking line-up. Still, the team struggles with constructing positinoal offence, and attempts to stretch the flanks lead to open zones in the center of the field – opponents pose threat to the La Liga leader with counterattacks. Key player in the Spaniards' mechanism is Gundogan, who despite his experience and age often fails to retreat back quickly enough. "Barcelona' suffers from numerous injuries, notably midfield maestro Pedri is still in the treatment room.
The opponents have played 9 matches between them, with "Porto claiming 4 victories and suffering 5 defeats. They have never drawn. The last encounter between the teams was in the 2011 UEFA Super Cup, where the Catalan club clinched a 2:0 victory.
Prediction for Porto - Barcelona match
Porto proves to be a challenging opponent for any team, boasting a typical manager's squad. However, the club's matches against top competitors this season don't always end successfully. Backing the Catalans to win might be a good bet.