UEFA Champions League: Arsenal vs. Porto
Premier League side Arsenal takes on Portuguese champions Porto at Estadio do Dragao this evening (20:45 CET) in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie. These two teams have previously met in the group stage, but this time the stakes are definitely higher.
Arsene Wenger must cope with an injury crisis, with defender William Gallas, forwards Robin van Persie, Eduardo and Andrei Arshavin, midfielder Alex Song and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia all out of tonight’s clash.
With so many injuries, the Gunners boss must reshape his defense, attack and midfield. However, Wenger is not worried about his side’s injury list.
“It’s not a serious concern,” the Frenchman said. “The concern is that the players that are here perform at their best. We don’t always have all the players available to select for the team but I’m not bothered by that.”
The Dragons, who are unbeaten against English opposition in Europe until last year, come into this match with some confidence. They have stretched their unbeaten streak to 12 games in all competitions at the weekend with a goalless draw against Leixoes—their fifth clean sheet in their last six games.
Porto will also be boosted by the return of Givanildo de Souza (Hulk) to the squad. The Brazilian has been provisionally suspended for six months by the Portuguese football federation but is free to play in European fixtures.
We see this match as very balanced and we certainly don’t see the North Londoners as the favorites.
UPDATE: Porto defeated Arsenal 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash.
WATCH: Arsenal vs. Porto Live Stream (2nd leg)