Champions League: Malaga v Porto match preview

A look ahead to tonight’s Champions League clash at Estadio La Rosaleda

A solitary strike from Joao Moutinho in the 56th minute of the first leg in Portugal is the only difference between the two sides as Malaga welcome Vitor Pereira's side, hoping to improve on a run that has failed to see them win in their last four Champions League games.

Manuel Pellegrini's side have failed to win since they last encountered tonight’s opponents, and have also only found the net on one of those occasions.

Despite their struggles in front of goal, Los Boquerones can take heart from the fact that they have only ever been beaten twice in 25 European games.

Pellegrini will need former Blackburn and Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz to find his shooting boots if they are to overturn Porto’s lead.

The Portuguese Champions are second in their domestic league, despite being unbeaten since the start of the season, racking up 17 wins in their opening 22 games, a feat which has seen them concede only 10 goals all season.

Their outstanding start is bettered only by title rivals Benfica, who have drawn fewer games than Porto.

Signing as Radamel Falcao’s replacement is no easy task, yet Jackson Martinez has been in incredible form this season, smashing in 23 league goals already this term.

 

KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm

 

PREVIOUS MEETING...

Porto 1 (Moutinho) Malaga 0, UEFA Champions League, February 2013

 

STATS...

A stat that could be key to their chances of progressing, Malaga are the only remaining team to have not conceded a first-half goal in the competition.

Porto have failed to win any of their last six away ties in the knockout rounds, their last win coming in 2004.

The Portuguese side have been the most resilient team in this year’s Champions League though, keeping five clean sheets when on their travels.

Porto have only failed to score once in their past 22 games

Midfielder’s Isco and Joaquin have accounted for a quarter of Malaga’s goals in the competition this term

 

ODDS...

Malaga to win: 2.84

Porto to win:   2.76

Draw: 3.45

To qualify:

Malaga: 4.5

Porto:  1.26

 

TV: Live on Sky Sports 4 at 7.45pm and highlights on Sky Sports 2 at 12.00am

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