Sunday, May 19, 2024

FC Porto v Arsenal Form Guide tells us not to expect an easy game in Portugal

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We are all tremendously looking forward to the return of the Champions League this Wednesday, and according to every bookie in the world Arsenal are the overwhelming favourites to get off to a flying start by beating FC Porto on their home ground, and many are predicting that we can even play a weakened side in the return leg at the Emirates.

This may be just a touch over optimistic if previous form is anything to go by.

It is a fact that Arsenal have been out in the wilderness for many years and have not even managed to win the Europa League while banished from the Premier competition, while Porto are very very experienced of playing at this level every year.

Even though Arsenal easily topped our Group, the fact is that we only won one of our three away games (2-1 at Sevilla) so we should approach this game with trepidation. It is also worth mentioning that we were drawn three times before in the UCL to play Porto, between the years of 2006 and 2010, and in fact did not win in Portugal even once out of those 3, only managing one draw and two defeats.

From “Our first encounter came back in 2006/07 when we won 2-0 at home thanks to goals from Thierry Henry and Alex Hleb before drawing 0-0 away, while in 2008/09 we were victorious by a 4-0 scoreline when Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor bagged braces, before losing 2-0 away from home.

“Those ties were in the group stage, and the last time we locked horns was in the round of 16 the following season, when we overturned a 2-1 loss in the first leg with an emphatic 5-0 win at Emirates Stadium to advance, with Nicklas Bendtner helping himself to a hat-trick.”

It is also worth noting that FC Porto, in their last six home games in the UCL, have won 4 of them, and only lost the once, and that was just a 0-1 defeat to Barcelona. That doesn’t suggest that Arsenal’s visit will be a pushover for the Gunners, no matter how good our current form is.

Now onto FC porto’s League form. People say they are not performing at their best this season and are currently third in the table, but again, looking at their home Primeira Liga games, Porto have only lost one of their last 17, 14 of which were victories, showing once again that they are formidable at the Dragao.

Yes, Arsenal are very short favourites, but don’t turn up expecting a walkover….

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