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Porto
Champions League | Group Stage
Nov 7, 2023 at 8pm UK
Estadio Do Dragao
Royal Antwerp

Porto
2 - 0
Antwerp

Evanilson (32' pen.), Pepe (90+1')
Carmo (58'), Conceicao (84')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Yusuf (20'), Vermeeren (45+2'), Wijndal (62')
Ekkelenkamp (52')

Preview: Porto vs. Royal Antwerp - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Porto and Royal Antwerp, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Porto will be bidding to strengthen their grip on second position in Group H when they continue their Champions League campaign at home to Royal Antwerp on Tuesday night.

The Portuguese giants have picked up six points from three matches to sit second in the section, while Antwerp are bottom, losing all three of their group-stage fixtures this term.


Match preview

Porto's Evanilson celebrates scoring against Royal Antwerp on October 25, 2023© Reuters

Porto opened their Group H campaign with a 3-1 success over Shakhtar Donetsk before suffering a 1-0 home loss to Barcelona in their second match at the start of October.

Sergio Conceicao's side returned to winning ways last time out, though, recording a 4-1 victory over Antwerp, with Evanilson scoring a second-half hat-trick for the Portuguese giants.

Porto cannot qualify this week, but a win over Antwerp would put them in a commanding position, as a defeat for Shakhtar against Barcelona would mean that Conceicao's team would only need to pick up one point from their last two games in the section to make the round of 16.

The Dragons currently sit third in the Primeira Liga table, picking up 22 points from their opening 10 matches of the season, but they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Estoril on Friday night.

Porto have won six, drawn two and lost just one of their nine previous home European contests against Belgian clubs, but the defeat, which was 4-0, came last season against Club Brugge.

Royal Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel reacts on October 25, 2023© Reuters

The Portuguese side have made the knockout round of the Champions League in five of their last six campaigns, but Antwerp are playing in the group stage of this competition for the first time in their history.

It was always going to be a tough ask for the Reds to perform in this section considering the strength of their opposition, and the reigning Belgian champions are still waiting for their first point in Group H.

Mark van Bommel's side opened their group-stage campaign with a 5-0 defeat at Barcelona before suffering a 3-2 home defeat to Shakhtar in their second match.

Antwerp then lost 4-1 at home to Porto last time out, and they need to win to remain in contention for a top-two finish here, with a draw or loss eliminating them from the competition.

The Great Old are currently down in sixth position in their domestic table, only picking up 20 points from 13 matches, but they will enter this match off the back of a 3-2 success over Genk on Saturday.

Antwerp had been in strong form in Europe ahead of this season's group stage, winning six of their 10 games in the build-up, losing just once, but they have found it difficult to make the step-up to the top table.

Porto Champions League form:


Porto form (all competitions):


Royal Antwerp Champions League form:


Royal Antwerp form (all competitions):



Team News

Inter Milan's Denzel Dumfries and Nicolo Barella in action with FC Porto's Galeno on March 10, 2023© Reuters

Porto currently have six players on the sidelines through injury, with Galeno, Wendell, Ivan Jaime, Zaidu Sanusi, Ivan Marcano and Gabriel Veron out of action.

Pepe Aquino is expected to start in a wide position for the home side, with Evanilson going through the middle alongside Mehdi Taremi, who is currently being heavily linked with a move away from the club.

Wendell's injury will open the door for Jorge Sanchez to feature at the back, while David Carmo and Pepe are set to line up as the two centre-backs for the Portuguese side.

As for Antwerp, Mandela Keita, Jacob Ondrejka, Anthony Valencia and Bjorn Engels will miss the clash in Portugal due to fitness problems.

Arthur Vermeeren's future continues to be the subject of speculation, with the 18-year-old being heavily linked with a number of major clubs, and he will again line up in central midfield.

Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Vincent Janssen is the team's leading goalscorer this season with seven, and he will again feature in the final third of the field, while there will also be a start for Michel-Ange Balikwisha, who has netted six times in all competitions this term.


Porto possible starting lineup:
Costa; Mario, Pepe, Carmo, Sanchez; Franco, Varela, Eustaquio, Aquino; Evanilson, Taremi

Royal Antwerp possible starting lineup:
Butez; De Laet, Alderweireld, Coulibaly, Bataille; Vermeeren, Yusuf; Muja, Ekkelenkamp, Balikwisha; Janssen


SM words green background

We say: Porto 3-1 Royal Antwerp

Antwerp are certainly capable of causing problems on Tuesday, and we are backing them to find the back of the net in their fourth match in the competition. Porto have so much quality, though, and even with some injuries to important players, we are expecting the Portuguese outfit to win this match relatively comfortably.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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Game History

How you voted: Porto vs Antwerp

Porto
87.5%
Draw
6.7%
Royal Antwerp
5.8%
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Porto's Zaidu Sanusi celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 4, 2022
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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
QBayern651016
QCopenhagen62228
3Galatasaray61235
4Man Utd61144

Group B

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QArsenal641113
QPSV62319
3Lens62228
4Sevilla60242

Group C

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QReal Madrid660018
QNapoli631210
3Braga61144
4Union Berlin60242

Group D

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QReal Sociedad633012
QInter Milan633012
3Benfica61144
4Salzburg61144

Group E

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QAtletico642014
QLazio631210
3Feyenoord62046
4Celtic61144

Group F

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QDortmund632111
QPSG62228
3AC Milan62228
4Newcastle61235

Group G

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QMan City660018
QRB Leipzig640212
3Young Boys61144
4Red Star60151

Group H

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QBarcelona640212
QPorto640212
3Shakhtar63039
4Antwerp61053


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