Chelsea host Porto at Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán on Tuesday night in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg. Both matches in this tie are being played in Seville, where Thomas Tuchel’s side won the first leg 2-0 “away from home”. With two away goals for Chelsea, Porto will need a dramatic turnaround to progress to the semi-finals.
Under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea appears to be getting stronger and stronger. After starting his reign with a 14 match unbeaten run (conceding just two goals with twelve clean sheets), that streak was ended by a shock 5-2 home loss to West Brom albeit with ten men for 61 minutes.
Chelsea responded to that defeat with a strong defensive performance to beat Porto 2-0 in the away leg of the quarter-final thanks to goals by Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell. The Blues then went to Crystal Palace and 4-1 in convincing fashion. Having started off with 13 goals scored in his first 12 matches, Chelsea have netted 12 goals in their last five matches under the German coach.
Chelsea Team News
Not many changes are expected to be made by Tuchel for this match from the first leg. Andreas Christensen missed the win at Crystal Palace so could be replaced by Thiago Silva, who was suspended over the weekend.
Christian Pulisic got a brace on Saturday and is pushing hard to keep his place in preference to a struggling Timo Werner. Reece James should return to start after Callum Hudson-Odoi was given a runout at right wingback in the last match whilst N’Golo Kante is expected to be used as a substitute once again after a recent injury.
Chelsea know that if they score, Porto need four goals to progress. A pretty defensive display is expected, as was seen in the first leg, with Tuchel’s side looking to pray on mistakes or exploit space behind Porto’s high line.
Chelsea would be delighted to draw 0-0 or 1-1 and progress and won’t be too bothered about winning the match outright.
Porto sit second in the Primeira Liga after a 20 match unbeaten run in the league. A draw for Sporting this weekend means that Sergio Conceicao’s side sit six points off the summit with eight matches to play.
Over their last nine matches, Porto have lost 3-2 away to Juventus (but progressed on away goals having won the first leg 2-1 at home) and 2-0 to Chelsea as well as losing 3-2 to Braga in the Taca de Portugal.
Porto beat Tondela 2-0 away in their last match as Toni Martinez and Mehdi Taremi scored the goals.
Porto Team News
Porto welcome back two key men from suspension in striker Mehdi Taremi and midfielder Sergio Oliveira. Both were only subs over the weekend and should start this match fully fresh. The duo has contributed 34 goals between them this season.
Coach Sergio Conceicao gave centre back Chancel Mbemba and striker Moussa Marega full rests in the victory over Tondela so he has some fresh legs to try to turn this tie around. Luis Diaz was very impressive in the first leg and should start again on the left flank.
Porto are expected to play the same way as in the first leg: a high defensive line, plenty of pressing, an attacking left back and Diaz supporting the attackers centrally. They were unfortunate to lose the match a week ago and will have belief that they can win this one 2-0 to take it to extra time at least.
Considering the players rested this weekend, Porto are clearly going to put everything into this match and give it full attention with no eyes looking at the title race in Portugal.
Chelsea have kept 13 clean sheets in their last 17 matches
Chelsea have lost 1 of their last 17 matches in all competitions (12 wins, 4 draws)
Chelsea have seen under 2.5 goals in 11 of their last 13 matches in all competitions
Porto have lost 6 of their 9 previous matches against Chelsea (2 wins, 1 draw)
Porto have lost 5 of their last 8 CL matches away from the Estádio Do Dragão
Porto have won 8 (drawn 2) of their last 10 away Primeira Liga matches
Chelsea don’t need to win this match and look perfectly poised to sit back and play on the counter attack. They have enough to score a goal and Porto would then need to score four times. A score draw looks a good bet from this match considering how threatening Porto were in the first leg.