Portuguese stalwarts FC Porto will host top Swiss side FC Basel in the second leg of a Champions League matchup at Estádio do Dragão on Tuesday. The aggregate score is 1-1, and with Porto owning the all-important away goal, as the two clubs seek a spot in the quarterfinals.
Porto have been on a strong run of play, having gone unbeaten in their last seven matches across all competitions. Julen Lopetegui's side currently sit in second place in the Portuguese Liga table just four points behind Benfica. Forward Jackson Martínez is the attacking spark for the side and leads the Portuguese Liga with 20 league goals.
Porto have performed particularly well in Champions League play, having yet to lose in this season’s competition (six wins, three draws).
Basel sit atop the Swiss Super League table and are on a hot streak of their own. The side have lost just once in their last 10 matches, a 4-2 league defeat to second-place Young Boys. Basel will have to play the role of underdog to advance in the Champions League when they travel to Porto. Paulo Sousa’s club are looking to score their first-ever aggregate win in the Champions League’s knockout stage, while Porto haven’t lost to a Swiss side in more than three decades.
The first leg between the two sides was a fast-paced affair that ended in a 1-1 result. Basel took the early lead at home on a low shot that attacking midfielder Derlis González slotted home in the 11th minute. After having a goal called back and missing a few chances, Porto found the important equalizer in the 79th minute on a penalty. Basel defender Walter Samuel accidentally played a ball with his hand in the box after going to the ground. Porto defender Danilo easily scored the penalty to even the score and set up the tense second leg.
Porto likely entered the matchup as favorites and might have been disappointed to not win the first leg outright. Finding the draw at the end of the match, however, had to provide some solace. Basel, on the other hand, might be pleased with the draw, but now have a tough task ahead when they travel to Porto needing a quality performance.
"Conceding that goal has complicated things for us ahead of the second leg, but I am satisfied with the result," manager Sousa said to reporters after the first leg. "Porto were superior to us."
In the first leg the Swiss side scored on their sole shot-on-goal and did not have much of the possession. Porto controlled the match in the sides’ last meeting and will look to win advance past the Round of 16 with a similar performance (but perhaps a different result). If Basel want to advance to the last eight, it will likely take solid defending and well-timed counterattacks. The pressure is squarely on Lopetegui’s club, who have historically found European success and won the Champions League in 2003-2004, under manager Jose Mourinho. Basel would make club history simply by advancing past this round.
Kickoff Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Fox Sports 2
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2 Go streaming here
Prediction: FC Porto controlled most of the first match but Basel escaped with a draw. It will be a tough task for Basel to leave with a similar result at the Portuguese side’s home stadium.
FC Porto 2-0 FC Basel