Liverpool vs Porto: Champions League preview, team news, stats, kick-off
Team news and stats ahead of Liverpool vs Porto in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday; kick-off 8pm.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will try to spare as many of his senior players as he can from the Champions League dead rubber at home to Porto.
His side are already qualified as group winners with two matches to spare but with injuries still significantly affecting his squad, he admits he will prioritise their welfare over playing a full-strength side.
“We always respect the competition but we have to think about ourselves and our schedule and the situation of our players first,” he said.
“We didn’t make these decisions yet, to be honest, because, how we all know, in this time of the season, the medical department has a big hand in line-ups.”
Jordan Henderson was only fit enough for a substitute role against Arsenal on Saturday after returning from England duty with a minor problem, while left-back Andy Robertson was left out entirely after injury with Scotland.
Both are fit enough to face Porto but Klopp has a balancing act.
“Hendo, we will see. Yesterday, I would say maybe he was not at 100 per cent. So he can play, he can do pretty much everything but it’s about really being at 100 per cent fit,” added Klopp.
“Robbo, similar. Both are OK, but are both now ready to play, ready to start but with the schedule, with games coming up? We have to make these decisions.”
How to follow
Follow live updates on SkySports.com and the Sky Sports app from 6.30pm on Wednesday; kick-off 8pm. Also follow on Gillette Soccer Special live on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm.
Liverpool have already qualified for the Champions League last 16 after beating Atletico Madrid 2-0 in their previous group game. Porto are currently in second with five points, although Atletico are close behind on four points.
The pair face each other in the final Group B game, and it could be a straight shoot-out for the final knockout place. AC Milan could also still qualify, but are currently bottom with one point.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their nine meetings with FC Porto in European competition (W6 D3), with five of those games coming during Jürgen Klopp’s reign (W4 D1).
- This will be the fifth time that FC Porto have travelled to face Liverpool at Anfield in European competition, while they’ve lost three of their previous four (D1) and only scored one goal. That lone strike came in a 4-1 defeat in November 2007 under Jesualdo Ferreira.
- Should Liverpool avoid defeat in this game, FC Porto will be the first side they’ve faced on 10 occasions in European competition without suffering a single loss (currently W6 D3 in nine meetings).
- FC Porto have only won one of their 22 away games against English teams in European competition (D3 L18), however that victory did come in their most recent one – 1-0 v Chelsea in the quarter-final second leg last season. The Portuguese side have only scored two goals in their last nine away games versus English opposition.
- Liverpool have only lost two of their 23 home games in the UEFA Champions League under Jürgen Klopp (W16 D5). Among managers to have taken charge of 20+ home games in charge of a club in the competition, Liverpool under Klopp are one of only four sides to have lost fewer than 10% of their home games (along with Barcelona under Frank Rijkaard, Juventus under Marcello Lippi and Barcelona under Pep Guardiola).
- FC Porto have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last nine games in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, however one of the games in which they did concede in this run saw them ship five against Liverpool. Indeed, five of the six goals they’ve conceded in their last nine group stage games have been against the Reds (one versus AC Milan).