PREVIEW | FC Porto v FC Barcelona

PREVIEW | FC Porto v FC Barcelona

The first Champions League road trip of the season is to Portugal to take on the other side that got off to a winning start in the group

After a comfortable 5-0 win over Royal Antwerp at the Estadi Olimpic in the opening game of Champions League Group H, FC Barcelona now go on the road for the first time in this year's competition. The destination is the 50,000+ capacity Estádio do Dragão, and the opposition are FC Porto, who also won their opening fixture, 3-1 away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

The game kicks off at 9pm CEST, while other game in the group, between Antwerp and Shakhtar, is one of the earlier 6.45pm CEST starts. Step this way for full broadcasting information and international kick-off times.

Team news

FC Barcelona go into this one with three key players missing through injury. Raphinha was the latest casualty in the game against Sevilla on Friday, with Pedri and Frenkie de Jong also unavailable.

But Porto have fitness worries of their own to contend with. Veteran captain Pepe, who Barça fans know only to well from his Real Madrid days, will not be featuring, Iván Marcano is out long-term, and Evanilson, Gabriel Veron and Zaidu Sanusi are also unlikely to be lining up against the Catalans.

The game also means meeting up with a familiar face in Nico González, a product of La Masia who rose all the way up to the Barça first team in the 20221/22 season. He spent last year on loan to Valencia and last July was snapped up by Porto.


Porto's most capped players
Pepe (Portugal, 134), Mehdi Taremi (Iran, 70), Jorge Sánchez (Mexico, 36), Stephen Eustáquio (Canada, 32), Marko Grujić (Serbia, 23), Diogo Costa (Portugal, 16), Zaidu Sanusi (Nigeria, 15)

Previous meetings

Clearly two such historic clubs like Barça and Porto have crossed paths several times, playing a total of eight competitive games. The first two came in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup first round - the only times the blaugranas have lost an official match to the Dragons, 3-1 away and 0-1 at home.

Five games came in the Champions League or in the European Cup as it was known. The away goal scored in the 3-1 defeat in the 1985/86 season saw Barça through to the round of 16 after winning 2-0 in the first leg at home. The one legged semi-final match in 1993/94 saw the blaugranes through by a brace by Stoichkov and one goal by Koeman.

The last time the teams faced off in Europe's premier club competition was in the 1999/00 season, Barça winning 4-2 at home and 0-2 in Portugal. However the last meeting between the sides saw the blaugranes win the 2011 European Super Cup, Messi and Cesc Fàbregas scoring the goals.

1931 (Friendly) Barça 1-0 Porto   
1932 (Friendly in Lisbon) Porto 1-2 Barça
1948 (Tr.T.Herrera in La Coruña) Barça 2-1 Porto   
1949 (Friendly) Barça 3-1 Porto   
1972 (UEFA Cup) Porto 3-1 Barça
1972 (UEFA Cup) Barça 0-1 Porto   
1982 (Luis Herrera Campins Cup in Venezuela) Barça 2-2 Porto
1985 (European Cup) Barça 2-0 Porto   
1985 (European Cup) Porto 3-1 Barça
1987 (Mundialito in Milan) Barça 1-1 Porto
1987 (Gamper Trophy) Barça 1-2 Porto   
1994 (Champions League) Barça 3-0 Porto   
2000 (Champions League) Barça 4-2 Porto   
2000 (Champions League) Porto 0-2 Barça
2003 (Friendly) Porto 2-0 Barça
2011 (European Super Cup in Monaco) Barça 2-0 Porto (see video, below...)


Form guide

Barça have yet to be beaten in any competition this season, having only surrendered points in draws with Getafe and Mallorca. The latter result meant they have now dropped to second in the league table despite a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sevilla last Friday.

Apart from a 1-1 draw with Arouca, Porto had won every league game until last Friday, albeit never by a margin of any more than one goal. They then suffered their first reverse at the hands of Benfica, the same team that beat them in the Portuguese Super Cup.

Did you know?

FC Porto are one of just 13 teams who have been crowned European champions more than once. They won in 1986/87 with the likes of  Madjer and Futre in the side, and then again in 2003/04, under Jose Mourinho and with Vítor Baía, Ricardo Carvalho and current Barça sporting director Deco in the team.

This game will be the 100th competitive fixture of Xavi Hernández's tenure as Barça manager.

The Estádio do Dragão will always have a special place in Culer hearts, for it was here that Leo Messi made his first team debut as a late substitute in a 2003 friendly.


Against Antwerp, Lamine Yamal became the second youngest player ever to debut in the competition. If (some might say 'when') he scores in this year's edition, he will become the youngest player ever to do so in the Champions League.

Barça have a great record against Portuguese clubs in Europe, although the last visit in 2021 (under Ronald Koeman) was an exception to the rule, with Benfica winning 3-0.

Barça and Porto have already met in the Champions League this season. The Handball Champions League, that is, with the Catalans winning 38-30 away from home.

If João Félix scores, he'll become just the fourth Barça player to score in his first two UCL matches for the team (Luis Enrique, Deco and David Villa were the others).

Of the six Liga teams that Porto has faced in the Champions League, Barça is the only one they have never beaten in the competition.

Xavi says 

"This is the Champions League and we are ready," said the Barça boss in his pre-game press conference in Portugal. Xavi echoed the thoughts of João Félix who also appeared before the media when he warned of the danger posed by FC Porto in Group H. 


Força Barça
Força Barça

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