Porto v Juventus preview: Serie A champions aim to maintain winning run
By Patrick Surlis and PA Sport
Last Updated: 22/02/17 8:04pm
Juventus will look to extend their seven-match winning run when they visit Porto in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday.
The Serie A champions have not lost a match in any competition since Fiorentina beat them on January 15, conceding just two goals on their way to seven consecutive victories.
They finished top of their Champions League group without losing a game, while opponents Porto finished second behind Leicester City.
The Estadio do Dragao will host the first leg of the contest on Wednesday night, with Porto looking for a first win in four matches against the Italian giants.
But the hosts are also in good form, having won their last six matches in all competitions.
Porto midfielder Danilo told La Repubblica: "FC Porto and Juventus are two teams in different realities.
"We have to sell the best players, they can simply buy. There are big differences in terms of budgets, but the ambition is the same.
"We are very organised defensively and in attack we have young players who can make a difference, but our great strength is the spirit of camaraderie that exists between us.
"Certainly the atmosphere of the Dragao will make a difference. We play every game as if it were our last."
Juventus have been boosted by the return to fitness of key defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, who were both included in the squad after recovering from thigh injuries.
The tie also features two of football's greatest goalkeepers, as Porto's Iker Casillas comes up against Juventus 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Juventus are unbeaten against Porto (W2 D1). They beat them in the 1984 Cup Winners' Cup final (2-1), and recorded a win (3-1) and a draw (0-0) when they met in the 2001/02 Champions League first group stage.
No Italian side has won any of their last five trips to Porto in the Champions League (four draws followed by one defeat). The last victory dates back to March 1993 (Porto 0-1 AC Milan).
Juventus topped their group for the first time since the 2012/13 season, while Porto have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the seventh time in their last 10 appearances in the competition.
However, Porto have made it past the round of 16 only once in their last six Champions League appearances (2014/15), while Juventus have done it only once over the last three years (2014/15).
Porto have lost only one of their 14 Champions League knockout games at home (W7 D6), against Manchester United in April 2009 (0-1).
Porto have also only failed to score once in their last 12 Champions League games at the Dragao, against Dynamo Kiev in November 2015 (0-2).
Porto have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Champions League games, the longest current run among all 16 teams left in this season's competition.
Juventus are the only team to have won all three of their Champions League away games this season (eight goals scored, one conceded), their best-ever run of victories on the road in the competition.
No team conceded fewer goals than Juventus in this season's group stages (two in six games).
Andre Silva has been directly involved in two-thirds of Porto's goals in this season's Champions League (six out of nine), scoring four and assisting two.
Gonzalo Higuain has scored only two goals in 20 Champions League knockout games. In the group stages, he's netted 15 goals in 38 games.
Juventus are fancied to head into the second-leg with a lead and can be backed at 6/5 for victory. Porto have lost only one of their 14 Champions League knockout games at home - they are 13/5 for the win. The draw is a 2/1 chance.
Jamie Redknapp thinks Juventus will have a comfortable evening and win 1-0 with Higuain bagging the first goal. You can get 13/1 for that scenario to happen. Phil Thompson agrees with Redknapp, plumping for a Juventus win to nil at 9/4.
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