13 February 2019
The first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie between AS Roma and Porto that takes place at the Stadio Olimpico sees the hosts looking to stretch a six-game home unbeaten run across all competitions (W4, D2).
Having advanced to the knockout stage as the runners-up in Group G behind Real Madrid, the Giallorossi hope to repeat a stunning success from last year and make it at least to the semi-finals. Although they’ve suffered two straight losses in the final two fixtures in the UCL group stage, Eusebio Di Francesco’s men go into this meeting off the back of an encouraging 3-0 road win over Chievo Verona, which was the seventh time in their last ten competitive outings they’ve managed to score 2+ goals per match. However, a potential problem for La Lupa could be their inability to keep a clean sheet that has seen them concede in four of their previous five competitive clashes, allowing over 1.5 goals per match three times in the process.
Meanwhile, qualified for the knockout phase as undisputed winners of Group D (W5, D1), the visitors chase their first quarter-final promotion since the 2014-15 campaign. The Dragons are winless in their last two league games (D2), with both of those stalemates producing under 2.5 goals. Sergio Conceicao heavily relies on his stubborn backline that has limited their rivals to a maximum of one goal per match in their last twelve games across all competitions. Another promising fact for the Portuguese tactician is that his players dodged failure on their previous 14 competitive road trips (W11, D3), scoring 2+ match goals eight times during the run. However, the reigning Primera Liga holders’ record of 11 defeats in 24 official meetings (W6, D7, L11) with the Italian clubs should worry Conceicao although they still boast a positive record versus Roma (W1, D1).
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