There is a very interesting dynamic here – the type which has made the Champions League such an interesting and exciting tournament. The top team in the Primeira Liga, FC Porto, go head-to-head with a team struggling to climb the Serie A, Roma.
Considering that the latter remains the bookmakers’ favourites despite this fact makes this game a point of personal pride for a team like FC Porto, who will no doubt be eager to prove that they can take it to any team from any division. And they have reason to be confident, as a mixture of brilliant performances and killer instinct makes them a team that should be feared across the world, not just within the Primeira Liga. Roma, on the other hand, following a season below their usual standards, will be looking to reassert themselves on the grand stage of the Champions League.
Roma vs FC Porto Prediction: Roma 2-1 Porto
A lack of consistency from Roma makes this a difficult game to predict. There are perhaps no better example of this than their 7-1 loss to Fiorentina. FC Porto, in contrast, have remained much more reliable. Even if their last couple of games ended in a stalemate, they rarely fall as hard as Roma did that night. However, performance wise, they also don’t climb as high as often.
Ultimately though, we think given the circumstances, Roma will bring their A-game. We therefore think they will be able to best FC Porto but only just. With that in mind, our scoreline prediction is 2-1 to Roma.
Our recommended tip: Roma win
Both the stats and the bookmakers give the slight advantage to Roma here, with the home side coming into this contest with a 46% win probability to FC Porto’s 26%. At Paddy Power, Roma enjoy low-risk 1/1 match odds. Meanwhile, Porto fans will have to settle for higher risk 13/5 odds on a victory from the bookmaker. Therefore, our recommended tip is for punters to back the favourites for the best chance of getting a return on their investment.
The good news for FC Porto is that they have never lost to Roma. The bad news is that does only cover two matches, and one of those ended in a 1-1 draw. Nonetheless, it still paints a different picture to the underdog team that many bookmakers appear to believe they are.
The only decisive victory between these two went their way with a pretty comprehensive 3-0 victory back in 2016. If nothing else, it should give FC Porto plenty of confidence that they have everything they need in terms of ability to overcome the odds.
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Players to watch:Edin Džeko & Francisco Soares
Roma: Edin Džeko
There are a few good possibilities here, with Stephan El Shaarawy being on obvious choice. However, we’re going to go with Edin Džeko after his performance against Chievo, which saw the team walk away with a 3-0 victory. While they almost certainly would have won without Džeko, the fact that he was able to stand out in such a brilliant performance – in no small part thanks to his excellent 18th-minute goal – tells you everything you need to know about his abilities.
FC Porto: Francisco Soares
By the same token, we think this game will come down to who has the best forwards. And for an example of a true difference maker, you can’t get much better with FC Porto than Francisco Soares. He is a man who leads league play with nine goals this season, and we have no doubt that he intends to dominate in much the same fashion in the Champions League.