After high-flying Manchester City, there might not be a more dangerous attacking side in England and Europe than Liverpool. Including City, there might not be a side with a more dangerous attacking duo than Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
It makes for a tough task for any opponent, trying to stop them and to slow down Liverpool in the final third. Porto centre half Ivan Marcano, though, thinks his side has shown in both the Portuguese league and Europe themselves this season that they’re up to the task.
“They are a complete team,” he said when asked how his side would go about stopping their opponents. “They haven’t lost in the Champions League and are in excellent form. We know Liverpool are a strong side—they want to move forward but so do we.
“Our motivation is to go as far as possible in this competition. Now we will face each other and we’ll soon see which is better. I think it’s going to be balanced. Liverpool have a great attack but we have already shown that we also have a great team. We are not fragile.”
Liverpool didn’t lose in the group stages—and scored a staggering 23 goals. In the league, they’ve scored 61 times. Porto, though, haven’t lost domestically—and have conceded just ten goals. They did, though, lose two games and concede ten in the group stages.
It’s still a good record—the record of a side that, as Marcano says, isn’t fragile—but they lost to both Besiktas and RB Leipzig in group play, and in both loses conceded three goals. And more than that, both of those Champions League losses came at home.
They are a good side; a solid, stingy side with the ability to score a few goals themselves. Liverpool look past them at their own peril. They aren’t fragile, but they might not quite be the impassable defensive juggernaut their league form suggests.
It should make for an intriguing contest, no matter how many goals are scored.