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Preview: Porto vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Manchester City will endeavour to secure top spot in Champions League Group C when they travel to the Estadio do Dragao to take on Porto in Tuesday's encounter.

While the visitors have already qualified for the knockout stages, Porto must hope that Olympiacos fail to beat Marseille for their route into the next round to be confirmed this week.


Match preview

Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao pictured on November 3, 2020© Reuters

Porto are a team who know exactly what it takes to reach the Champions League knockout stages, although topping a group which includes Man City was always going to be a step too far for Sergio Conceicao's crop.

Nevertheless, Porto will secure qualification for the next round should they stop Guardiola's side from winning this week, but even if Conceicao's side suffer another defeat to the Premier League giants, they will be guaranteed to finish second if Olympiacos fail to take maximum points from their encounter with Marseille.

Porto are currently six points clear of Olympiacos and already have one foot firmly in the knockout stages, but qualification has not been confirmed just yet and Conceicao's side cannot afford to become complacement at this crucial time in Group C.

However, the Portuguese double winners are in spectacular form and go into this bout having won their last five on the bounce in all competitions - scoring 11 and conceding just one - with Conceicao's side overcoming Santa Clara 1-0 at the weekend.

This week's hosts will not have fond memories of their trip to the Etihad last month, though, as City eased to a 3-1 victory over Porto thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates with teammates after scoring for Manchester City against Burnley in the Premier League on November 28, 2020© Reuters

Manchester City, as expected, have swept aside the competition in the Champions League group stage and qualified for the knockout rounds without needing to hit second gear.

With 10 goals scored and only one conceded in four matches, Pep Guardiola will be delighted that his side have been able to secure a path to the next stage with minimal difficulty, allowing the Spaniard to focus on turning his side's fortunes around in the Premier League.

The Citizens have endured a mixed bag of results early on in the top-flight campaign, and their record in front of goal has also left a lot to be desired at times, but Guardiola's men needed no second invitation to stamp their authority on an out-of-sorts Burnley side at the Etihad on Saturday.

Riyad Mahrez staked his claim for a regular starting role with a hat-trick against the Clarets, while Benjamin Mendy marked his return from injury with a goal and Torres increased his tally across all competitions to five strikes in a resounding 5-0 victory.

Should Man City maintain their 100% record in the 2020-21 Champions League with victory at the Estadio do Dragao, their first-placed finish in Group C will be confirmed before Guardiola's men welcome a winless and goalless Marseille to Manchester in their final group-stage match.

Porto Champions League form: LWWW
Porto form (all competitions): LWWWWW

Manchester City Champions League form: WWWW
Manchester City form (all competitions): WWDLWW


Team News

Manchester City players celebrate Phil Foden's goal against Olympiacos in the Champions League on November 25, 2020© Reuters

Porto midfielder Mateus Uribe was not involved in last week's win over Marseille due to an abscess, but the Colombian should be fit enough to start this encounter after coming off the bench against Santa Clara.

The 29-year-old makes a timely return to the fold with Marko Grujic suspended for this encounter - the Liverpool loanee was given his marching orders against Marseille for two bookable offences.

Moussa Marega should return to spearhead the Porto attack in place of Mehdi Taremi, but Pepe is still nursing a foot problem and is unlikely to feature on Tuesday.

As for Man City, Aguero's knee problem flared up before the visit of Burnley and the prolific Argentine was forced to miss out - he remains a doubt for the trip to Portugal as well.

Nathan Ake is fit and available again after recovering from a hamstring injury, while Aymeric Laporte should also return to the fold after being rested at the weekend.

Phil Foden is expected to start once again after notching up the winner against Olympiacos last week, while Joao Cancelo, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva are all candidates to make the first XI.

Porto possible starting lineup:
Marchesin; Manafa, Mbemba, Sarr, Sanusi; Uribe, Otavio, Oliveira; Corona, Marega, Diaz

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri, De Bruyne, Foden; Silva, Jesus, Sterling


SM words green background

We say: Porto 1-2 Manchester City

This is sure to be Man City's toughest game of the group stage so far, with Porto boasting a solid defensive record in recent matches and looking to assure themselves of a place in the last 16. Guardiola is expected to rotate heavily and the hosts will certainly fancy their chances, but we still think that City will have enough firepower to get over the line.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


ID:424270:cQx

How you voted: Porto vs Man City

Porto
21.0%
Draw
20.1%
Manchester City
59.0%
758
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Riyad Mahrez celebrates with teammates after scoring for Manchester City against Burnley in the Premier League on November 28, 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City19125236132341
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd20124437271040
3Leicester CityLeicester20123536221439
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2010553024635
5Liverpool1997337221534
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
7Everton1810352922733
8Chelsea2086633231030
9Arsenal209382620630
10Aston Villa1892733211229
11Southampton198562724329
12Leeds UnitedLeeds198293235-326
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves206592129-823
14Crystal Palace206592436-1223
15Burnley196491324-1122
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2054111934-1519
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton203982229-718
18Fulham1927101527-1213
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2025131548-3311
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2022161233-218

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