- Liverpool draw Portuguese side Porto in the Champions League Last 16
- Reds ended up waltzing through the group ahead of Sevilla, Spartak and Maribor
- SEE MORE: ‘Number 6 is coming…’ LFC fans react to brilliant Champions League draw
Liverpool won two of our matches 7-0 in the Champions League group Stages, and are hoping for similarly terrific results against Porto in the Last 16 in February.
At the draw in Switzerland yesterday, former midfielder Xabi Alonso pulled our names out of the hat against the Portuguese giants, who we’ve only played four times before in our history.
In 2000/01 we faced them during our successful UEFA Cup run, which famously ended in a dramatic 5-4 final win over Alaves.
In 2007/08 we played them in the Champions League Group Stages, drawing away from home and battering them 4-1 at home, thanks to goals from Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres (2) and Peter Crouch late on.
That evening, the atmosphere was incredible and a decade later, manager Jurgen Klopp is demanding exactly the same:
“[The Anfield atmosphere] has to be a difference. That’s how it is,” he told LiverpoolFC.com.
“You go there and there’s no easy place in the world of football. We go there in the first game; I don’t have a plan for that game yet!
“Then, of course, Anfield must make the difference.”
“Last Wednesday, when we knew we were still involved, that was our big dream: we didn’t care who we would get. It was clear it would be a strong side,” Klopp continued.
“Porto are a strong side, first in the Portuguese league and always good. This year again they’re a difficult side to play.
“They came through in a difficult group; they kept Leipzig—a really good side in Germany—behind them. It will be interesting.
“Portugal doesn’t have a proper winter break, one week or 10 days off. We have enough games to watch and we will watch all of them.
“It’s in around about two months, so we don’t have to watch the Champions League games too much. We have the league games.
“We’ll see, so many things can happen – the transfer window, injuries, everything can happen. We dreamt of this, so we are really looking forward to playing the games.
“But I think we have 20 games from now until then, so a few things to do until then.”
The full Last 16 draw features many exciting ties, including last year’s champions Real Madrid against Neymar inspired PSG – and Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Chelsea taking Barcelona, who’ll be eager to add another European crown to their trophy cabinet.
The full draw looks as follow:
Champions League last-16 draw
Juventus v Tottenham (13 February and 7 March)
Basel v Manchester City (13 February and 7 March)
Porto v Liverpool (14 February and 6 March)
Sevilla v Manchester United (21 February and 13 March)
Real Madrid v PSG (14 February and 6 March)
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma (21 February and 13 March)
Chelsea v Barcelona (20 February and 14 March)
Bayern Munich v Besiktas (20 February and 14 March)
If you think Liverpool have a chance of progressing against Porto and going on to win the competition, we’re around fifth favourites – meaning the bookies assuming we have a decent chance. The best place to do this is Ladbrokes, who are offering a massive Casino Promo Code, too.
Liverpool fans won’t know much about Porto, so we checked out the excellent Mark Critchley’s analysis of them for the Independent.
“Conceicao prefers a organised, disciplined 4-4-2 and is not afraid to play off the back foot and have his players sit tight to frustrate opponents – a style Liverpool have encountered problems against on occasions this season, not least in Sunday’s Merseyside derby,” he claimed. “Hector Herrera, the club captain, and Danilo Pereira will marshal the midfield.
“Offensively, Porto’s success will depend on the talents of Vincent Aboubakar, a physically-imposing striker who has an excellent record in front of goal this season, boasting 20 goals in 22 appearance so far. Yacine Brahimi is Conceicao’s creator-in-chief but left-back Alex Telles also contributes heavily, particularly from set pieces.”
Before the Champions League though, Liverpool have a busy set of festival Premier League fixtures; not to mention a mouthwatering FA Cup tie against Everton on January 5th.
Hopefully we can navigate these games well and keep the squad for for the blockbuster February Porto matches.