Porto v. Roma Champions League
This is part of our Champions League coverage, as always, there’s more on our Champions League page!
This matchup features the runner up from Group G, AS Roma, and the winner from Group D, FC Porto. Porto finished their Group undefeated with 16 points from 5 wins, and a draw. Whereas Roma finished with a more pedestrian 9 points from 3 wins and 3 losses (twice to Real Madrid and once to Viktoria Plzen).
FC Porto finished the Group stage in style with a +9 goal differential and only 6 goals allowed. They also lead the Portuguese Primera League with barely a speed bump. Group D was rated as the easiest (and most unpredictable) Group in the Champions League. This will give Porto an opportunity to test themselves against the runner up from one group harder.
FC Porto have been dominant in the Portuguese Premeira Liga, they’ve won 9 straight games in the League. On the whole, they’ve had 14 wins and only 2 losses. They’ve lost only to Benfica and Vitoria de Guimaraes by a total of 2 goals (0-1 and 3-2 losses). They’ve scored 34 goals while conceding only 10 (3 of those coming in the aforementioned losses). The next team in line, Benfica, has beaten them in their head-to-head matchup is 4 points away (with a game in hand).
In the Champions League group stage, Porto was markedly better at home than on the road. So far they’ve scored 7 while conceding 4. That means they are averaging 1.67 goals per game scored, but also concede 1.3. Their lone draw of the group stage was also away.
Roma finished as runners up in the Group. Although they met expectations by advancing, however, they certainly didn’t land it convincingly. Group G was rated as the 2nd-easiest Group in Champions League, with Real Madrid picked as clear favorites.
AS Roma has a chasm between them and the top of the league. Roma is in 6th-place in the Serie A with a ridiculous 25 point spread between Roma and Juventus. Next to Juventus’ 19 wins and 3 draws, the Roma record of 9 wins, 8 draws, and 5 losses looks very mediocre. Roma has been able to score seemingly at will but their defense has let them down. They have the 4th-highest goal scoring totals in the league, but they have also allowed the 10th-most goals.
I didn’t find Roma to be particularly good on the road so far in the Champions League, though their home for was much better. Their one loss at home was to Real Madrid (0-2), but they actually had better home form than Real Madrid. Roma had a better goal differential (by 5 goals) and scored 3 more along the way. Roma are averaging 2.66 goals scored per game at home and allow only 0.66 goals against (both of which game in the Real Madrid game).
What to expect
Sorry Porto fans, I think this team is the best of a very mediocre group. I’m not even all that impressed with their domestic form. They are averaging more than a goal conceded per game and I could easily see them conceding as many as 3 in Rome. I just think this side is a little overhyped and think Roma can/will start to play better. Porto is averaging 0.5 goals allowed per game on the road in the league. This year it seems like there’s a massive drop in talent after Porto and Benfica.
Roma fans, I’m giving your side the benefit of the doubt. You’ve been in great form at home in Champions League though I’m really shocked by the domestic form. Even despite being underwhelming in domestic competitions, they still manage a +10 goal differential at home. I think this team will come out attacking from the first whistle because there’s a massive drop in form when they hit the road, so for leg 2.
This game will be played in AS Roma’s home stadium, Stadio Olympico in Rome, Italy. As I expected, Roma are definite favorites at home and about 3 goals seems to be indicated as of now.
Last Updated: January 11, 2019