AS Roma vs FC Porto
UEFA Champions League
Date: Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Stadio Olimpico (Rome).
Roma bank on home advantage when they welcome FC Porto for the first leg of Champions League round of 16 tie.
The Italians had a roller coaster ride in the group stage this term and lost 3 of their 6 games and yet finished second in the group behind Real Madrid.
Roma had a winning streak in Champions League that lasted an year. This came to an end with the loss against Real Madrid in the final group stage game.
They were expected to be more consistent than that in this season, however they become the sort of team that win some and lose some. Their fourth place in Serie A, 14 points behind second placed Napoli explain this. Furthermore, they tend to drop a lot of points at home as well, despite losing just 2 of the 15 in all competitions.
Porto is a tricky opponent to negotiate when on sound and they are coming to Stadio Olimpico in good spirits. Last time they were here, Roma was crushed 3-0 and denied a place in the Champions League group stage. Such stats will boost their confidence incredibly.
Furthermore, Sergio Conceicao’s men bossed the Champions League group stage this season and finished unbeaten winning 5 of the 6 games. Their domestic form since December is consistent as well. I have little doubt that they are up for a battle at a ground where many elite teams failed in the previous edition.
Roma vs Porto Head-to-head
Porto are unbeaten against Roma in UEFA competitions with 2 wins and 2 draws from 4 matches. Their last meeting was in 2016 play-offs, Porto winning 4-1 on aggregate (3-0 at Roma, 1-1 at Porto).
Roma have a moderate overall record against Portuguese opponents – 5 wins from 14, drew 5 and lost 4. At home they won 3 and drew 2 of 7, losing the other 2.
FC Porto managed 8 wins out of 30 games played against Italian clubs, drew 8 and lost 9. They managed only 4 wins in the away trips to Italy, 3 draws and 7 losses.
Roma vs Porto Prediction
Eusebio Di Francesco’s men have a reputation of tormenting big teams at this ground. Both Barcelona and Liverpool suffered heavy defeats at the knock stage of the competition last year. It will be interesting to see if they can keep the confidence and concentration levels high against a lesser reputed team like Porto.
This does not mean that one can underestimate the Portuguese giants. My comment is based on the fact that they were untested in the group phase and their unbeaten record in the competition mean nothing while coming to a crunch match like this. Besides, they have a poor account of themselves in the recent visits to Italian soil, lost 4 and drew 2 of the last 6.
Roma go into this game as clear favorites, but they need to fix the problems in defense if they are to carry a sizable lead to Porto for the second leg. Eusebio’s men have no clean sheet to show for in their last 8 Serie A home games, which is good news for travelling Portuguese fans.
Based on the above stats, I expect to see a tight game with each team dominating in short patches. Yet, we are most likely to see some goals, with either sides proven to have firepower up front.
Roma vs Porto Betting Tips
My recommended pick for this match is Both teams to Score priced at 3/4 (1.75) odd.
A decent alternate is Roma ‘not’ to keep a clean sheet @ 2/5 (1.40) odd.