Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for FC Porto v Liverpool FC
Charlie Nicholas is backing Liverpool FC to claim a 2-1 win over FC Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie
Charlie Nicholas is backing Roberto Firmino to fire Liverpool FC to a 2-1 victory over FC Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
The Reds are preparing to make the trip to Portugal as they gear up for their first European game of 2018 and they aim secure their progress to the quarter-finals.
Liverpool FC warmed up for the game with an impressive 2-0 victory over Southampton on the south coast in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon as Jurgen Klopp’s men kept their top-four bid on track.
The Merseyside outfit are now in third place in the Premier League table as they bid to try and secure Champions League qualification for the second season running under the German manager.
The Reds will be keen to try and avoid defeat when they take on the Portugese side in the first leg of their last 16 clash on Wednesday night.
And former Arsenal star Nicholas is backing the Reds to claim the initiative by taking a 2-1 lead back to Anfield for the return leg.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “I’m not surprised Liverpool are favourites here. I know it was Benfica who were shocking in the group stages, but I think the standards have definitely dropped with Portuguese sides in general and there’s not much between the top sides in their league right now.
“Liverpool are, alongside Man City, the best counter-attacking team in the Premier League and I think Porto will be fairly timid going into this tie, knowing the threat Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino poses on the break.
“They might look to make it a physical game to stop those breaks, but they won’t have come up against an attack like this, having benefited from a relatively favourable group.”
Liverpool FC return to Premier League action with a home clash against West Ham on 24 February.