On February 12th, we will see the first 2 matches of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League with AS Roma hosting Porto in Italy and Manchester United awaiting PSG in England. In this preview, we will check the clash between the Italian and Portuguese side at Stadio Olimpico, the home stadium of AS Roma.
After a surprisingly good run in the Champions League last season, Roma is looking to repeat their success this season. Looking at the 2017/18 Champions League season, Roma managed to end first in their Group C, ahead of Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Qarabag. With only 1 defeat in the group stage, Roma already passed all our expectations and proceeded into the knockout phase, where they met with Shakhtar Donetsk. The first match ended 2:1 for the Ukrainian side, whereas Roma managed to win 1:0 at home, which ultimately meant Roma was to appear in the quarterfinals, where they met with Barcelona. It seemed like it was the end of the road for them, but once again Roma proved us wrong by defeating Barcelona and advancing to the semifinals. where they were greeted by Liverpool. While Roma came close to defeating Liverpool and appearing in the finals for the first time since 1984, they were ultimately defeated by the English side (7:6). Will they manage to repeat their impressive run this season? Not likely if you ask me. Roma played exceptionally good in the last season’s Champions League and while there is a possibility they go far, it’s very slim, especially as they need to defeat Porto first before advancing to the next stage.
Porto ended their Champions League campaign relatively soon last season. After finishing 2nd in the Group G, behind Besiktas and ahead of RB Leipzig and Monaco, Porto were paired with Liverpool in the 1/8 finals where they were completely humiliated by the eventual finalists. Liverpool defeated Porto with an aggregate score of 5:0, which ended Porto’s dream of once again lifting the Champions League trophy as they did in 1987 and 2004. This year, Porto are paired with a much easier opponent in the 1/8 finals compared to Liverpool. Despite AS Roma great run last season, I do not believe they will be a huge threat to the Portuguese side. The last time these two teams met, it was FC Porto who celebrated the win (0:3) and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw something similar today.
AS Roma are considered a favourite in the first leg, which is fair as they will play at Stadio Olimpico, where they will push for an advantage which would make their 2nd leg match in Portugal easier. Roma holds a 4-2-0 record at home in all competitions in their recent 6 games. In fact, Roma has only been defeated at home 2 times in the last 15 games, but this record does not show the real picture. While Roma can easily win against mid and low-tier teams, when they play against stronger teams the match usually ends in a draw or even a defeat. In the match against Porto, I believe Roma will be outclassed and while I believe Porto has a good chance to win, we will be betting on Porto +0.5, in case the match ends up in a draw.
Prediction: Porto +0.5
Odds: 2.09 SBOBET