FC Porto were completely torn apart by a rampant Liverpool side at the Estadio Do Dragao three weeks ago, but despite this, there is reason to believe that the Portuguese giants could walk away from Anfield with a victory this evening.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have effectively secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the expense of Porto. Very few would have predicted the result in Portugal three weeks ago, and the final score would have seriously hurt a side who are yet to lose a domestic league match this season. Porto showed little by way of attacking threat after Liverpool opened the scoring in the first-half, but they will be eager to avenge the first-leg result by recording a victory on British soil tonight.
However, everybody associated with Liverpool should be expecting their opponents to put in a vastly improved display tomorrow as they will be desperately hoping to salvage some pride in the second-leg. With that in mind, the supporters should pay particularly close attention to Porto’s top-goalscorer this season Moussa Marega (valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt), as he has the ability to inspire the travelling side to victory this evening.
Fortunately for The Reds, Firmino has remained full fit for the entirety of the season so far, but their fluidity and goal-scoring success would undoubtedly be significantly hampered if he was to collect an injury due to their lack of quality options aside from Firmino. Liverpool are lacking strength in depth in centre-forward positions, so it is an area which Klopp should certainly be looking to improve during the next transfer window, and Marega appears to be a worthy candidate.
Like Firmino, Marega is a secondary-striker who prefers to operate slightly deeper in comparison with a conventional number 9 striker, so Klopp would not be forced to adapt his tactical approach to accommodate him in the starting eleven. Moreover, his goal-scoring record during the last two seasons suggests that he possesses both the clinical instinct and composure that will be needed to thrive in the Premier League.
So far this season, Marega has scored 20 goals in 24 Liga Nos appearances for Porto, and last season he boasted a return of 13 goals from 25 appearances during his loan spell with Vitoria Guimaraes, despite playing the majority of the season on the right wing.
It’s doubtful that Marega will be involved this evening as he collected an injury during Porto’s 2-1 victory over Sporting Lisbon last Friday which forced him off the field of play in the 82nd minute, however, the Liverpool supporters should keep a close eye on his development for the remainder of the season as he represents an ideal target for their club to pursue next summer.