Liverpool’s European exploits restart this evening as they make the trip to the Estadio do Dragao to face current Portuguese table toppers FC Porto. Jurgen Klopp’s men may well lie third in the Premier League at present but they will still have designs on lifting this trophy for the sixth time in their history come the end of the season.
Their Champions League campaign got off to something of a slow start with successive draws in their first two matches but they managed to work their way up through the gears to finish top of their group which also included Sevilla.
Their reward for topping the group is in theory an easier draw in the Round of 16 but with that said you cannot take this FC Porto team lightly. Although the Portuguese league is perhaps the biggest barometer of quality they do find themselves two points clear of their Lisbon based rivals Benfica and Sporting with a game in hand.
Jurgen Klopp knows that his men will be in for a test this evening but at the same time it is one that they will be confident of passing, especially if the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino continue their rich veins of form that they are currently in.
This was no less evident than last weekend when they both were on the score sheet against Southampton at St Mary’s, their contribution meant that the Merseyside outfit moved back into third in the table and after Manchester United lost at Newcastle hours before their is a belief that they can leapfrog them into second.
The one thing that Liverpool don’t want to be drawn into is a four way fight for just three places when the battle to return to next season’s Champions League reaches its final miles. The more points they can point on board and more importantly the distance they can make the better.
However there are no league points on offer this evening as the focus is fully on Europe and Porto, the Portuguese outfit may not have the star studded lineups of years past, but they will look to be a handful tonight especially with their passionate fans behind them.
That said because of that lack of real star in their team you would have to make Liverpool favourites to win this evening, the Reds attacking trio should prove to be the difference tonight and I personally cannot see anything other than an away victory.