European Super Cup / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Víctor Pereira’s Porto could be FC Barcelona’s rival in the next round of the Champions League. We’ve already taken a look at Milan, Arsenal and Galatasaray, so now it’s time to turn our sights on the Portuguese team.

The Dragons are out for blood

The manager Víctor Pereira knows that Porto haven’t defeated FC Barcelona in Europe since 1985. Since then the two teams have faced off four times, with the end result always favouring the Blaugrana. The last time the two teams met was on August 26 in 2011, when Pep Guardiola’s men defeated the Portuguese side in the European Super Cup, thanks to goals from Messi and Cesc Fàbregas.

Porto want to stake their claim

Porto had a discreet showing in Europe last season. They were eliminated in the Champions League group stage and in the Europa League’s round of 32. This season has been kinder to the Dragons as they managed to qualify for the knock-out stage of the Champions League. They finished second in Group A with 13 points – 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat – behind the star-studded PSG side.

Dominant leaders of the Portuguese league

Porto remain undefeated in the Portuguese league. They’ve won 9 of their 11 matches, and tied 2; giving the Dragons a total of 29 points. However, their biggest, Benfica, rival are hot on their heels. Benfica are three points adrift of Porto, but they have a game in hand. Porto have shown themselves to be particularly strong at home, as they thumped Vitória Guimarães by 4-0 and thrashed Marítimo 5-0 at the Do Dragão.

Jackson Martínez, Colombian firepower

One of the biggest setbacks to Porto was the departure of Radamel Falcao – who left the Portuguese side two seasons ago for Atlético Madrid. The void left by the Colombian has been filled by Jackson Martínez. Hulk also left the Portuguese side this summer – for Zenit – as did Guarín and Álvaro Pereira – both of whom signed for Inter. Martínez, who is Falcao’s comrade in arms for the Colombian national team, arrived to Porto this summer from Mexico’s Jaguares. He’s the team’s highest goalscorer in the Champions League with 3 goals and the Portuguese league scoring leader with 10. He was also named the best player in the Portuguese league in October and November.

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