Krasnodar make the journey to the Estadio Do Dragao on Tuesday night where they’ll meet Portuguese side FC Porto, and both sides will feel they have every chance of progressing after last week. In the opening encounter it was Porto who took the lead, but Krasnodar won’t be overly disheartened as one goal in their favour could change the entire dynamic of this tie.
That first leg outing versus Krasnodar was Porto’s first competitive match of this season, and it was a great result. Sergio Oliveira got the vital goal with one minute of normal time remaining after a tight affair. Porto will be happy with the fact they didn’t concede a goal last time out and had more of the ball, but manager Sergio Conceicao will want more from his team here. At the weekend Porto were beaten in a shock result against Gil Vicente as Alex Telles’ equalizer couldn’t prevent Bozhidar Kraev from grabbing a winner four minutes later. Now it’s time for Porto to prove they deserve to be amongst the elite for another year.
Krasnodar will certainly be the fitter of the two having played in their domestic league throughout summer, and right now they sit in second spot behind Zenit St. Petersburg. Following that loss at the hands of their upcoming opponents, Krasnodar met Rubin Kazan at Stadion FK Krasnodar. One goal from Ivan Ignatyev was all they needed to earn all three points, with former Newcastle man Remy Cabella standing out on that occasion. Younes Namli can breathe a sigh of relief as he was sent off for a second bookable offence mid-way through the ninety minutes.
There aren’t any real injury worries for FC Porto ahead of this one, which is expected as they’ve just finished pre-season and started the league campaign. Iker Casillas may or may not feature this season, although he’s back in training alongside his teammates. One of their star players, Telles, will be looking to put in yet another big performance for his side and with one goal already, the left-back has his sights on further strikes soon. If Porto can get Marega firing on the night, fans of the home team are in for a treat.
There are two injury problems for Krasnodar, with Viktor Claesson out until January 2020 at the earliest, while Yuri Gazinskiy is a major doubt as he recovers from a shoulder problem. A similar performance to the one he produced at the weekend from Ignatyev would be appreciated from the visiting faithful, while Wanderson will look to make his mark on the European stage. Other key performers during this season are Sergei Petrov and goalkeeper Safonov, both of whom will be looking to raise their game to the standard of Cabella.
FC Porto should have more than enough strength in their ranks to overcome any questions posed by Krasnodar, but in football nothing is too far fetched. We can’t envision a scenario where the away side progress however, especially considering they failed to score on home soil in the first leg. This will have been a blow to belief among supporters, and for these reasons we’re choosing Porto to win both halves @ 3.80 as our opening tip for this meeting. Keeping a clean sheet away from your home ground is usually quite a difficult thing to do, particularly in European action. Porto managed it last week against Krasnodar though, and we expect them to do the same again, as well as win, @ 2.63 for our next tip.