Porto vs Arsenal: Champions League round of 16, first leg – live | Champions League

Key events

Sergio Conceicao: “These are encounters at the highest level, and even more so at this point,” Porto’s manager said in his pre-match media address. “Let’s go into this in more detail when preparing, because there is so much quality and situation to cancel that we want to explore.” Preparation is no different. Maybe the video session will take a little longer as there is a lot of material and content. Training on the field is the same.

“I think everyone knows this team. He has great quality and a coach who has been at the club for five years and has acquired individual values ​​of enormous quality. Combined with the collective organization, Arsenal is capable, competent and strong. We must not forget that it is in the top three in terms of market value. This shows their power. Now we face a team with European pedigree.

“We are looking for a team with technical capacity and talent that can be solved at a specific time. It is one of the teams with the highest percentage of ball possession in the English league, it knows how to speed up the game like no other through very wide and deep wings that create imbalances one on one, it has midfielders with great skills to infiltrate ( the opponent’s defensive organization) and are very present in the final third and are also tactically strong.”

Sergio Conceicao beamed during his pre-match press conference. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images
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Mikel Arteta: “I’m really impressed with Porto,” said Arsenal’s coach. “I know the manager very well and know his history. They have a lot of experience in competition, they have a lot of qualities in many phases of the game, that’s why they are always competitive in European competitions.

“It’s a really tough opponent we’re going to face tomorrow, but at the same time we’re very excited. It’s been seven years since we’ve been away and we’re all full of energy and excitement to play the game we want to play tomorrow.

“It’s great that we’ve earned the right to be here. It’s been seven years since we sat at this table in a game like this and 14 years since we were able to advance to the next round. That is the challenge, that is what lies ahead of us and we are very excited to face it and we will approach it with full faith, that is for sure.”

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for Porto during his press conference. Photo: Nigel Keene/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock
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These teams: Brazilian left-back Wendell replaces the injured Zaidu Sanusi at Porto. This is the home team’s only change from the team that started against Estrela at the weekend. Arsenal field the same 11 players who began their demolition of Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday evening.

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Tonight’s match officials

  • Referee: Serdar Gozubuyuk

  • Assistant referees: Erwin Zeinstra and Johan Balder

  • Fourth official: Joey Kooij

  • VAR: Dennis Higler

  • Assistant VAR: Pol van Boekel

Dutch referee Serdar Gozubuyuk will lead the refereeing team at the Estadio Dragao this evening. Photo: Hollandse Hoogte/Shutterstock
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Lineups FC Porto vs Arsenal

FC Porto: Costa, Joao Mario, Kleper Pepe, Otavio, Wendell, Varela, Gonzalez, Francisco Conceicao, Eduardo Pepe, Galeno, Evanilson.

Subs: Stephen Eustaquio, Grujic, Claudio Ramos, Sanchez, Jaime, Loader, Andre Franco, Baro, Martinez, Borges, Ze Pedro, Fabio Cardoso.

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, Odegaard, Rice, Havertz, Saka, Trossard, Martinelli.

Subs: Ramsdale, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Cedric, Jorginho, Vieira, Nelson, Elneny, Hein, Nwaneri, Lannin-Sweet, Heaven.

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Early team news

Porto lost their Nigerian left-back Zaidu Sanusi to a season-ending knee injury last weekend and he joins Porto’s long-term lame-duck players Ivan Marcano, who is also likely to miss the rest of the season. Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi was also ruled out of tonight’s game. Midfielder Stephen Eustaquio is questionable for today’s game after missing Porto’s weekend win against Estrela.

Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu all missed Arsenal’s trip to Burnley at the weekend and were not on board the plane to Portugal. Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey remain out but former Porto player Fabio Vieira has traveled with the Arsenal squad despite being out since November with a groin injury. The 23-year-old played 76 games for Porto before moving to Arsenal, scoring ten goals.

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Round of 16: Porto – Arsenal

As the only Portuguese team still represented in the Champions League this season, Porto hosts Arsenal for the first leg at the Estadio do Dragao this evening. It is the guests’ first appearance in the knockout round of the Champions League in eight years. With third place in the Premier League, they occupy the same position as their hosts in Liga Portugal.

Sergio Conceicao’s side are unbeaten in ten home games and have played five games at the Dragao without conceding a goal. Their defensive prowess will likely be tested by an Arsenal team that has won five games in a row, scoring 21 goals in the process. Kick-off in Porto is at 20:00 (GMT), but in the meantime there’s plenty of team news and preparations.

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