After two goals from Zanolio, Roma managed to win the first leg of the Champions League against Porto, who now await them at Estádio do Dragão, where the Portuguese side will try to utilize their home ground advantage and advance into quarterfinals.
It would be fair to assume AS Roma shifted their focus on the Champions League rather than their domestic league, but that does not excuse them loosing to Lazio 3:0 on March 2nd. Looking at Roma campaign in Serie A, they are currently 5th with a 12-8-6 record and a 3-1-1 record in their last 5 matches. In the course of those 5 matches, Roma drew against AC Milan (1:1), won against Chievo (0:3), Bologna (2:1) and Frosinone (2:3), but finished their 3-0-0 run with a defeat in an important match against Lazio (3:0) on Sunday. This might be worrying for a team that is travelling to Portugal with only 1 goal advantage, which could have been or should I say should have been much higher. In the first leg, Roma were the dominant side, but the final result failed to reflect that. I Giallorossi finished the match with 13 goal attempts and 9 shots on goal, while Porto only managed to produce 7 goal attempts and 2 shots on goal. In 76th minute Roma were even 2 goals up, but a late goal from Porto in the 79th minute gave the Portuguese a real fighting chance against the Italian side in the fight for promotion. As far as Roma Champions League campaign goes, they have only won once on the road, while they were defeated twice. The two teams that managed to defeat them were Real Madrid (3:0) and Plzen (2:1). While the defeat against Real Madrid is not surprising, I am a bit concerned about how strong Roma is on the road, taking into consideration they failed to defeat Plzen. Even in Serie A, Roma won only 3 out of the last 10 away matches.
Porto are coming into the next leg of the Champions League after a disappointing defeat against the league leaders Benfica (1:2). With only 10 more rounds left in the Primera League, Porto are now at the 2nd place, 2 points behind Benfica. To be fair, the mentioned match against Benfica should go the other way. With 21 goal attempts and 7 shots on goal against only 9 goal attempts and 4 shots on goal from Benfica, Porto were the dominant side but only managed to produce 1 goal in the early stages of the game. Looking at Porto campaign in the Champions League, they are one of the rare teams that have not suffered a defeat on home grounds. They ended the group stage with a 3-0-0 record at home with 8 goals scored and only 2 conceded, which is a promising record to hold while they await Roma. Coming into this match Roma will be without Pastore, Coric and Cengiz Ünder, while they will welcome back Kolarov and Schick. Manolas is still doubtful. On the other side, Porto will miss Aboubakar, but will have Jesus Manuel and Moussa Marega back in the team after missing the 1st leg.
Both teams will come into the match after underwhelming defeats in their domestic league, but there can be only one winner tonight. Roma were far from impressive or even decent in the match against Lazio, and while Porto lost their last fixture in Primeira Liga as well, they did perform much better compared to the Italian side. The last match in Rome was not surprisingly in favour of Roma, however, the late goal of Porto just might be the deciding factor in who will advance in the next stage. Porto have proven numerous time before they are a strong team at Estádio do Dragão, while Roma were not too convincing in their away games. All things considered, I can not see this match going any other way that than Porto winning and advancing into the next stage of the tournament.
Prediction: Porto -0.50 Asian Handicap
Odds: 1.91 Matchbook