UEFA Champions League debuts don’t often come as convincing as Leicester City’s 3-0 victory over Club Brugge earlier this month, with the Premier League champions following up their success in Europe with an identical result at home to Burnley in the league, but the shoe is now on the other foot.
The Foxes were sunk by a 4-2 result in the EFL Cup last week versus Chelsea, having led by two goals in the first half, whereas back in the league, Manchester United dealt Claudio Ranieri’s men a 4-0 loss to mull over.
Leicester, however, do now have a nice change of pace to enable them to shake off some of the negative energy amassed in the past week, with FC Porto visiting the King Power Stadium for Game Two of the Champions League group stages. Here’s a little taster of the Portuguese side.
Porto rarely ever misses out on an edition of the Champions League, but that doesn’t suggest all is well in paradise. After going through two managers in the past season, not only did the northern outfit finish 3rd behind rivals Benfica and Sporting, but in doing so, Porto made it a third consecutive season without a league title for the first time since 2002.
Now under the management of their fellow former goalkeeper and the predecessor to Gary Neville at Valencia, Nuno Espírito Santo, the Portuguese club managed to skip past AS Roma in the qualifying rounds with a 4-1 aggregate win.
Despite being enriched with talented players, piecing the Porto stars together as a potent force has proved to be the sticking point. Nuno felt that as early as his third game, where his side were outclassed in a 2-1 defeat away to Sporting prior to drawing versus Tondela earlier this month.
The 2004 Champions League winners also slipped up in their opening group stage clash at home to FC Copenhagen, meaning they’re already playing catch-up when taking to the field at the King Power Stadium.
One to Watch – André Silva
The 20-year-old striker was left under wraps with the B team last season, but he’s now made positives strides in the new campaign towards fulfilling his lauded potential, being highly-regarded as the answer to Portugal’s lack of quality strikers at international level.
André Silva is able to mix and match all relevant attributes well, from notable strength, to technical ability and pace. The Porto number 10 has exemplified many of those traits on his way to becoming the club’s go-to-guy for goals this season, topping the team’s goal scoring charts with five goals in nine appearances thus far.