FC Porto vs. Atletico Madrid - Estadio Dragao, Porto, Portugal 4:45 EST Wednesday September 30, 2009
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
On Wednesday night FC Porto looks to take advantage of a struggling Atletico Madrid squad in an important Group D Champions League match. Even though Atletico Madrid have 1 point in Group D and Porto has 0 points it is the Portuguese club that may have the advantage. Porto played a good match in only losing 1-0 to powerhouse Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in England in their last CL match while Atletico Madrid played to a 1-1 draw against APOEL of Cypress, which is considered to be one of the weakest teams left in the Champions League group stage.
Atletico Madrid may have to win this match, as they still have to play Chelsea twice. It looks as if the second team to get out of Group D will be one of the two teams in this match, as Chelsea should make it out and it would be a major shock if APOEL did so. In last season’s Champions League Porto beat Atletico in the knock out phase, as Porto reached the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time since the 2003-2004 season. Porto is currently in 3rd place in Portugal’s Liga Sagres and they have scored 12 goals and given up only 4 in 6 league matches.
To say that Atletico Madrid is struggling is an understatement. They not only played to a 0-0 draw to APOEL, but they are winless in their last 5 matches (4 draws 1 loss). Atletico has yet to win in La Liga play and they currently sit in 18th place out of only 20 teams. In 5 matches in La Liga they have only scored 7 goals and they have given up 13. They have to turn their season around and this is the perfect match to do so.
Porto is the home favorite in this match posted at 1.90 with Atletico Madrid posted as the away underdog at 3.90 with a draw at 3.40.
FC Porto Recent Form:
9/26/2009 Porto 1 Sporting 0 (Liga Sagres)
9/19/2009 Braga 1 Porto 0 (Liga Sagres)
9/15/2009 Chelsea 1 Porto 0 (Champions League)
9/12/2009 Porto 4 Leixoes 1 (Liga Sagres)
8/29/2009 Naval de Maio 1 Porto 3 (Liga Sagres)
Atletico Madrid Recent Form:
9/26/2009 Valencia 2 Atletico Madrid 2 (La Liga)
9/23/2009 Atletico Madrid 2 Almeria 2 (La Liga)
9/19/2009 Atletico Madrid 2 Barcelona 5 (La Liga)
9/15/2009 APOEL 0 Atletico Madrid 0 (Champions League)
9/12/2009 Atletico Madrid 1 Racing Santander 1 (La Liga)
Porto’s Fernando will not be available for this match, as he was sent off in the Chelsea match. Silvestre Varela, Cristian Rodriguez, and Miguel Lopes will all miss this match due to injuries.
Atletico Madrid was recently dealt a big blow, as they recently learned that Sergio Aguero may miss this huge match after injuring his thigh in his last match. Aguero is on the squad and Madrid could really use his services in this match. Maxi Rodriguez and Raul Garcia will miss this match due to injuries.
Atletico Madrid has struggled on defense this season and they will have to mark Porto’s Falcao, as the recent signing from Columbia scored 4 goals in the first 4 matches in the Liga Sagres. He also scored the game-winning goal in last weekend’s match against Sporting, which was his 5th goal of the season.
Atletico Madrid has also struggled on offense. Striker Diego Forlan is a veteran of big matches and he will be counted on to provide some offense for the Spanish side.
Since the starting Atletico Madrid GK is out for this match backup keeper Roberto will probably get the start and he will have to have a good match, especially if Porto controls the midfield, which will give them many scoring chances.
If Atletico Madrid plays like they have been in the La Liga campaign so far they will lose this match.
Jason’s Pick: Even though Atletico Madrid plays in a tougher league they are struggling and I think that they will continue to do so against a Porto squad that has won 3 of their last 5 matches. Their last win was against Sporting, who is a solid club and that will boost their confidence even further. Look for Porto to break down the Atletico Madrid defense and for them to win by a score of 2-0 or 2-1.