Royal Antwerp - FC Porto predictions and free betting tips [25/10/2023]
On Wednesday, the 25th of October, Antwerp will host Porto on their home turf for the third round of the Champions League group stage. At present, the Belgian side is rooted to the bottom of Group H leaderboard, whilst the Dragons now sit in second place, eager to rejuvenate their campaign after a home defeat to Barcelona three weeks ago.
Antwerp: Butez; Bataille, Alderweireld, Coulibaly, Wijndal; Vermeeren, Yusuf, Ekkelenkamp; Muja, Balikwisha, Janssen.
Porto: Costa; Mario, Carmo, Cardoso, Sanchez; Pepe, Varela, Nico, Galeno; Taremi, Evanilson.
The clash ensues in Antwerp at the Bosuilstadion.
The reigning Belgian champions, currently returning to the main continental competition after a 60-year hiatus, are seen as the underdogs in the current CL fixture. They have proven this assertion in the first two rounds; first in Catalonia against Barcelona (5:0), and subsequently at a home fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk (2:3). Goals by Muja and Michel-Ange Balikwisha put the home side 2:0 up just 35 minutes into the match, however, the Miners flipped the script after the break and scored thrice. As a result, the Belgians haven't managed to secure a single point and logically occupy the last spot in the group stage.
A defeat on Wednesday will, most likely, remove the Red-Whites from the race for the top-two playoff spots. On a national level, however, the situation is contrasting; the reigning champions have only lost once before the international break and secured a comprehensive victory over Eupen (4:1). Conversely, over the past weekend, Antwerp suffered their second loss in the Pro League against Charleroi (3:2) taking them down to the 6th place.
Three weeks ago, the Dragons failed to secure any point at a crucial home fixture against Barcelona. Nonetheless, despite being a man down in the second half, the blue and whites failed to recover from a 0:1 deficit, which meant that they couldn't secure the leading position. Consequently, the guests are currently in the second place overall, knowing that only victories can preserve their chances of securing the top position.
Before the international break, Porto secured a minimal victory over Portimonense with a 1:0 scoreline; over the past weekend, the two-time Champions League trophy winners defeated modest Vilar de Perdizes (0:2) in the Portuguese Cup. By securing a second consecutive "clean sheet" victory, Porto also didn't let in more than a single goal in any of their last 11 matches, underscoring one of their main strengths - a reliable defense.
These teams have never met each other, however, Porto has won its last three away matches against Belgian clubs: in August 2010, Genk was defeated 0:3, and in 2016 and 2022 they triumphed over Brugge.
Antwerp vs Porto Match Prediction
In the case of a loss for the visitors, with simultaneous win by Barcelona, the Dragons will almost certainly lose their chances of securing the top spot in this group, and the competition as a whole could turn into a struggle. If you can’t beat the weakest team in this group, is there any point in competing? Antwerp is in the midst of a crisis, having claimed victory in only one of the last seven matches. I expect the Portuguese side to win this game.
So far, this season, Porto has not let in more than one goal a match, which is no surprise, with such seasoned defenders as Pepe and Marcano. Therefore, my prediction is for Antwerp's individual total to be under 1 goal.
The Portuguese grand consistently delivers 6 corners per game, on average. I predict Porto to have an ITO for corners over 5.5.
Yellow Cards Prediction
Antwerp picks up an average of 2 warnings per game, Posto gets 2.5. It's doubtful that the referee will show more than 4.5 warnings this Wednesday.
My prediction is a 0:1 victory in favor of Porto.