Having lost the reverse fixture at San Siro Stadium, Porto still have all to play for when they welcome Inter Milan to the Estadio do Dragao for Tuesday night’s crunch Champions League tie decider.
Sergio Conceicao’s 10-man side left Italy heartbroken after a late Romelu Lukaku strike snatched a win for the Nerazzurri not long after Otavio was sent off for a second bookable offence having been previously cautioned for dissent.
Failing to find a breakthrough in Milan leaves Porto facing a must-win situation in Tuesday’s mouth-watering showdown.
But they followed the setback at Inter with a surprise 2-1 defeat to lowly Gil Vicente that saw them lose consecutive games for the first time this season.
That aberration needed to be rectified, and it did not take long for Conceicao’s side to return to winning ways as they claimed success in the subsequent two games against Chaves and Estoril Praia, scoring six times in the process.
Porto have a Primeira Liga crown to defend, but they find themselves trailing runaway league leaders Benfica who have already claimed a spot in the Champions League quarter-final, by eight points.
The Portuguese giants have just a one-goal deficit to overturn. Despite losing three of their five meetings with Inter, they are unbeaten against the Italians on home turf, which should give them a much-needed confidence boost heading into the clash.
Inter have a slender lead to protect, but their recent form leaves little to be desired as they continue to falter in their bid for a Serie A top-four finish.
Since beating Porto last month, Simone Inzaghi’s side have alternated between success and defeat in three games, picking up just three points from a possible nine.
A 1-0 defeat against Bologna was followed by a 2-1 victory over lowly Lecce before succumbing to another setback by the same scoreline to relegation-threatened Spezia.
Inzaghi’s job security is hanging by a thread, and while the Nerazzurri are not considered favourites to go all the way in the Champions League, bowing out in the last 16 could be the tipping point for the Italian tactician.
However, Inter have won four of their last seven away games in the knockout round (L3), with all four coming in the second leg, so they will be keen to continue that trend and finish the job behind enemy lines.
It took a Mehdi Taremi penalty to secure a 3-2 victory over Estoril in their last outing, but heading into the clash with successive wins in the bag will boost their confidence as they look to progress from the last-16 for the third time in a row having done so in 2019 and 2021.
Their imperious home record against Italian sides also gives cause for optimism as they look to overturn a one-goal deficit, having recorded victory in each of their last four home matches in Europe against AS Roma, Juventus, Milan and Lazio in succession.
However, Porto have been eliminated from six of their seven Champions League knockout ties after losing the first leg, which should prove a cause for concern. They have only progressed from a losing position in 2018/19 against Roma.
Porto have also lost four of their last six home matches in the Champions League knockout stages, shipping in an alarming 13 goals across those four defeats.
Precedent is not on Inter’s side either – they have won just one of their eight matches away to Portuguese sides in European competitions (D3, L4), losing each of their last two visits. Although, their last defeat in Portugal came against Sporting in 2006.
However, the Nerazzurri have progressed from four of their five Champions League knockout ties after winning the first leg. The last time they were eliminated from a winning position was in the 2005/06 campaign when they lost to Villarreal.
Lukaku, who netted the winning goal in the first leg, has now scored eight goals in 12 appearances for Inter in the Champions League, and his record of 111 minutes per goal is the best of any player to have scored 5+ goals for the club in the competition.
Porto vs Inter Milan Potential Line-ups
Porto (4-2-3-1): Diogo Costa; Joao Mario, Pepe, Fabio Cardoso, Zaidu Sanusi; Marko Grujic, Mateus Uribe; Andre Franco, Pepe, Wenderson Galeno; Mehdi Taremi.
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Andre Onana; Stefan De Vrij, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Federico Dimarco; Lautaro Martinez, Romelu Lukaku.
How to Watch?
Porto vs Inter, alongside all other matches in Europe’s most prestigious club competition this season, is available to watch online via Champions League live streams.
And if you are interested in attending a future UCL game, see our Champions League tickets page for more information.
Porto vs Inter Milan Prediction
Inter have not had the best luck in Portugal over the years. Their away form and defensive woes also pose a cause for concern.
Porto have several goalscoring threats, having scored six times in their last two games, so they should have enough to overcome the Italians on home turf, although it may take penalties to decide who goes through.
Porto 2-1 Inter Milan (Agg: 2-2, Porto win on penalties)
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