FC Porto v Malaga
UEFA Champions League
Estadio do Dragao, Porto
Tuesday 19 February, 2013
Porto will fancy their chances of amassing a big first leg lead against the Spanish side, scarred by financial problems. Malaga are banned from the Champions League competition next season so they will be looking to play well and to make a point.
Porto are sitting on top of the Portuguese league with a very good home record; nine wins and one draw from ten matches. They have amazingly only conceded two goals at home all season, which is the best defensive record in the country and one of the best records in Europe.
Injuries and Suspensions
James Rodriguez is unlikely to feature in the match as he continues his recovery from a badly torn muscle. Other than the highly sought after forward, Porto have a fully fit squad and no suspensions to worry about ahead of the game. Expect a couple of changes from their last league match.
Porto are odds on for a win at 17/20 which means a first leg advantage.
Malaga are currently fourth in La Liga and their form away from home has been a little inconsistent. They have won five matches, drawn three and lost three which has pegged them back but they have only conceded seven goals which is fewer than any other side in Spain.
Injuries and Suspensions
Malaga go into this game being able to field their full strength side. Manuel Iturra is the closest to a ban but that’s in La Liga and not the Champions League. Again, expect to see a few changes from the side Malaga fielded in their league fixture over the weekend.
There could be a lot of interest in the 10/3 available on Malaga.
Porto v Malaga Statistics
Porto played very well during the group stage and finished second behind PSG because they drew one more game. They won four, drew one and lost one out of all their group games and they kept their impressive defensive record in tact conceding just four.
Malaga won a group which included AC Milan by a clear four points. They didn’t lose a single game through qualifying with three wins and three draws, they scored 12 goals and conceded just five.
Head to Head
This is a relative unknown for both clubs because they have never met before. Malaga may feel they have the edge because of their better group stage form and the fact they have home advantage in the second leg.
Porto go into this game in very good form winning four out of their last five matches. That other match was a draw. They have scored a staggering 15 goals in these matches and have conceded just once in reply.
Malaga are slightly more inconsistent but have a solid record all the same. They have three wins, one draw and one defeat from their last five matches. They go into this game on the back of two wins in succession.
Porto v Malaga Prediction
This seems to be one of the finely balanced ties of the last 16. Malaga would seem to have the advantage based on results in this competition but Porto’s recent record in all competitions has been phenomenal.
Prediction: FC Porto 1-0 Malaga
Odds of 5/1 are up for grabs if you think Porto will win by this score.