Preview: Porto vs. Atletico Madrid

Porto will be hoping to secure top spot in Group B, while Atletico Madrid will be bidding to claim third position in the section when the two teams lock horns in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Atletico saw their last-16 hopes come to an end last week, with the La Liga outfit instead battling Bayer Leverkusen for the Europa League position in the group; Porto are currently second in the section behind Club Brugge, with one point separating the top two, who are both through to the knockout round.

Match preview

Porto attacker Otavio pictured on October 26, 2022

Porto have won three and lost two of their five Group B matches this season to collect nine points, which has proved to be enough to take them into the round of 16 with a game to spare.

The Portuguese giants will finish first in the section if they win on Tuesday and Club Brugge fail to overcome Leverkusen, while a point would be enough if Club Brugge are beaten by Leverkusen.

Porto actually opened their 2022-23 campaign with back-to-back losses to Atletico and Club Brugge, but they have won each of their last three without conceding a goal, recording successive wins over Leverkusen before thumping Club Brugge 4-0 away from home last week.

The Dragons made the quarter-finals of the 2020-21 Champions League, overcoming Juventus in the round of 16 before losing to Chelsea, who went on to win the competition.

Sergio Conceicao’s side will enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Santa Clara on Saturday, with the result leaving them in second position in Portugal’s top flight, eight points behind the leaders Benfica.

Atletico Madrid's Rodrigo De Paul celebrates scoring against Bayer Leverkusen on October 26, 2022

Atletico, meanwhile, saw their last-16 hopes come to an end in spectacular fashion last week, with a 2-2 draw at home to Leverkusen making it impossible for them to reach the knockout round of the competition.

Diego Simeone’s side had a golden chance to win it from the penalty spot deep into stoppage time, but Yannick Carrasco saw his effort saved by Lukas Hradecky before Saul Niguez headed the rebound onto the crossbar, and the capital giants are now battling for third spot in the group.

Atletico are third in the section, one point ahead of fourth-placed Leverkusen in the battle for the Europa League spot. As a result, Simeone’s team will finish third if they win, if both matches in the section are drawn, or if Leverkusen lose to Club Brugge.

The Red and Whites made the quarter-finals of last season’s Champions League, beating Manchester United in the round of 16 before losing to Manchester City 1-0 on aggregate.

Atletico will enter this match off the back of a 3-2 loss to Cadiz in La Liga on Saturday, with Ruben Sobrino winning it for the home side in the ninth minute of stoppage time, and the result has left the Madrid side in third spot in the table, eight points behind leaders Barcelona.

Team New

Alvaro Morata in action for Atletico Madrid on September 10, 2022

Porto will again be missing Pepe and Joao Mario on Tuesday evening through injury, while Mateus Uribe and David Carmo are suspended due to their bookings in the clash with Club Brugge last week.

As a result, there will have to be at least two changes to the side that started the team’s last European affair, with Ivan Marcano and Bruno Costa potentially featuring in the XI.

Evanilson and Galeno should again join Mehdi Taremi in the final third of the field, with the latter looking to add to the 11 goals that he has already managed during the 2022-23 campaign.

As for Atletico, Thomas Lemar, Koke and Marcos Llorente were missing through injury against Cadiz, and the trio will again be unavailable for selection on Tuesday.

Simeone is expected to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes to the side that started in the league on Saturday, but Antoine Griezmann and Jose Gimenez are set to return to the side.

Joao Felix scored twice off the bench against Cadiz, and the Portugal international could come in for Alvaro Morata, who had to be replaced in just the 10th minute of Saturday’s contest due to an injury.

Porto possible starting lineup:
Costa; Aquino, Cardoso, Marcano, Sanusi; Otavio, Costa, Eustaquio; Evanilson, Taremi, Galeno

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Reinildo; Molina, De Paul, Kondogbia, Witsel, Carrasco; Griezmann, Felix

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