On Wednesday, the matches of the sixth round of the Champions League group stage continue, and this time we have analyzed the match at Dragão where Porto will host Shakhtar Donetsk. Before this encounter, both teams are in second place in their group with nine points each, which means that the winner of this match will secure a place in the next phase of the Champions League. It should be noted that a draw would also be sufficient for the Portuguese side due to a better head-to-head record. The kickoff of this match between the Portuguese and Ukrainian representatives is scheduled for 9 pm.
Porto: The Dragons only need a point, but they will surely aim for all three!
Porto had to settle for the runner-up title at the end of the last Primeira Liga season, finishing just two points behind Benfica, who ultimately clinched the title. The season was not unsuccessful, as Sérgio Conceição’s men won the Cup, triumphing over Braga, and it’s also worth remembering that the Portuguese side managed to reach the knockout phase of the Champions League, which will once again be one of their primary goals.
Regarding the elite competition, it’s important to note that the Dragons are currently tied for second place in the table with the same number of points as Shakhtar, but Porto has a better head-to-head record, having won 3-1 away against the Ukrainian side in the first round. This means that Porto only needs a point from this match to advance to the round of 16 of Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
In the last round, the Dragons were defeated away by Barcelona, even though Sérgio Conceição’s team initially took the lead in that match. However, Barcelona ultimately showed character and secured the win, as well as a place in the playoffs.
As for the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Porto is currently tied for first place with Sporting Lisbon. After a somewhat poor start to the championship, it seems that the team is improving as the season progresses. In their last match, they celebrated a home victory against Casa Pia, ending with a 3-1 score. Moreover, both Benfica and Sporting dropped points, putting Porto back in an equal fight for the championship title.
In their last three league matches, Porto has achieved as many victories. Regarding home games, they have played six matches at their stadium this season, securing four wins, one draw, and suffering a shocking 0-1 defeat to Estoril.
Finally, for this decisive Champions League knockout phase qualifying match, Sérgio Conceição will not be able to count on Wendell, Marcano, João Mário, and Veron.
Shakhtar: Can the Ukrainian representative achieve another feat in the Champions League?
Shakhtar finally clinched the Ukrainian Premier League title last season after a three-year drought, finishing first in the table with a five-point lead over second-placed Dnipro, and a significant twelve points ahead of fourth-placed Dynamo Kyiv, who had a season to forget. The championship title earned the popular Miners a direct spot in the Champions League, and it seemed that the Ukrainian side had plenty of reasons to be satisfied after the draw, as aside from Barcelona, who were the clear favorites in the group, the other two teams were certainly ones they could and should compete with on equal terms.
With one round to go, Shakhtar is tied for second place in the table with the same number of points as Porto, and if Marin Pušić’s men win away at Porto tonight, they will secure a spot in the knockout phase, which would obviously be a huge success, considering everything that has happened in their country over the past few years.
Things would have been practically settled if Shakhtar had put up a slightly better fight against Porto in the first round, where they were defeated 1-3 at home without much trouble. This was followed by a very important away victory against Antwerp, a game in which they were once trailing 0-2. After that, the Ukrainian side put up a good fight away against Barcelona, but the Catalans managed to win 2-1, and then Shakhtar defeated the same opponent 1-0 at home, in what was one of their best performances in recent years.
Finally, in the last round, Pušić’s charges celebrated a 1-0 victory at their home stadium against Belgian Antwerp.
As for the Ukrainian Premier League, the current champions are currently in fourth place, three points behind the leaders Krivbas. However, it should be noted that Shakhtar has two games in hand compared to the league leaders, and if they win both matches as expected, they will once again take the top spot, which, frankly, is anticipated.
Our Betting Suggestions
Although the Dragons only need a point in this match, we are confident that the Portuguese representative will aim for all three. Given how well Shakhtar has performed in away games in this year’s Champions League, it seems likely that we are in for a very interesting duel, where we could see at least one goal on each side. Therefore, we recommend playing the Both Teams to Score (gg) bet with an odds of 1.95 at Mozzartbet.
Finally, it seems that Porto currently has a better team, and it’s worth remembering that the Dragons generally perform quite well at home in European competitions. This might be the main reason why we advise you to play a home win (fr 1), which Mozzartbet offers at odds of 1.53.