Arsenal face a tough task to keep their UEFA Champions League hopes alive after a first-leg defeat in Portugal. Can they reach the last eight? We look ahead to Tuesday’s game with our Arsenal vs Porto prediction and preview.

Arsenal vs Porto: The Quick Hits

  • Across 10,000 pre-match simulations conducted by the Opta supercomputer, Arsenal beat Porto in 73% of scenarios. Their chances of reaching the quarter-finals are rated at 62.2%.
  • Arsenal have been knocked out of nine of their previous 10 UEFA Champions League knockout ties when losing the first leg, though the exception came against Porto in 2009-10.
  • Bukayo Saka has both scored and assisted in all three of his Champions League games at the Emirates Stadium. The only player to ever do so in four straight home matches in the competition is Karim Benzema, who did so in 2011-12 for Real Madrid.

Match Preview

Arsenal were the big winners to emerge from Matchday 28 in the Premier League, with their hard-earned 2-1 victory over Brentford being followed by an entertaining 1-1 draw between Liverpool and Manchester City as the Gunners ended the weekend at the summit. Their UEFA Champions League hopes, however, hang by a thread ahead of Tuesday’s last-16 second leg against Porto. Can Mikel Arteta mastermind a turnaround after their 1-0 defeat in Portugal?

Galeno’s stunning 94th-minute strike decided the first leg at the Estádio do Dragão three weeks ago as Arsenal produced an uncharacteristically toothless performance, failing to record a single shot on target as they became just the fifth team to lose five successive Champions League knockout games, after Roma in 2018, Bayer Leverkusen in 2014, Celtic in 2013 and Real Madrid in 2010.

Porto vs Arsenal Timeline

Arsenal have been eliminated from nine of their 10 previous Champions League knockout ties when losing the first leg, though the one exception did come against Porto at this stage in 2009-10, when they lost 2-1 away before winning 5-0 at the Emirates. That was also the last time they progressed to the last eight of the competition.

They may not have been at their free-flowing best against Brentford on Saturday, but did enough to get over the line courtesy of Kai Havertz’s late header after an Aaron Ramsdale mistake allowed Yoane Wissa to cancel out Declan Rice’s opener.

They will be boosted by the return of David Raya after the Spanish shot-stopper was ineligible to face his parent club, but Gabriel Martinelli may not be involved after missing Saturday’s win with a foot injury sustained in last week’s 6-0 thrashing of Sheffield United.

Arsenal do, however, have plenty of forwards playing with confidence at present, with Havertz having scored as many goals in his last four Premier League matches (four) as he managed in his previous 32 with Chelsea and the Gunners.

Bukayo Saka, meanwhile, has both scored and assisted a goal in all three of his previous home Champions League appearances, with Arsenal sweeping aside PSV (4-0), Sevilla (2-0) and Lens (6-0) in this season’s group stage. The only player to achieve that feat in four successive home Champions League games is Karim Benzema, who did so for Real Madrid in the 2011-12 campaign.

Opponents Porto, meanwhile, have a golden opportunity to reach the last eight for the first time since 2020-21, though they have a mixed record when defending leads in Champions League knockout ties. Porto have progressed from three of their previous six ties when winning the first leg, and they have never previously won both legs of a knockout tie.

Led by battle-hardened centre-back Pepe, many might expect Sérgio Conceição’s side to dig in and predominantly defend, but they are also sure to ask questions of Arsenal at the other end. Porto’s tally of three goals resulting from high turnovers has only been bettered by Royal Antwerp (four) in the Champions League this season, while only six teams have recorded more than their 13 direct attacks.

porto high turnovers champions league 2023-24

Arsenal will know the importance of keeping a close eye on first-leg hero Galeno by now, with the Brazilian recording eight goal involvements in six Champions League games this season (five goals, three assists).

Only two players have previously netted in both legs of a Champions League knockout tie for Porto – Jackson Martínez against Bayern Munich in the 2014-15 quarter-finals and Jardel against the same opponents in the 1999-00 quarter-finals.

He was again among the scorers as Porto beat Portimonense 3-0 in the Primeira Liga on Friday, with Nico González and Pepê Aquino also on target. Mehdi Taremi could join him in attack after missing the first leg with a thigh injury, with Iván Marcano and Zaidu Sanusi Porto’s only absentees.

Arsenal vs Porto Head-to-Head

Arsenal have won all three of their previous home meetings with Porto in European competitions by an aggregate score of 11-0, most recently thrashing them 5-0 at the Emirates in March 2010.

Porto, meanwhile, have won just one of their 23 away games against English sides in all European competitions, drawing three and losing 19.

That lone victory came against Chelsea in April 2021, a 1-0 quarter-final first-leg triumph in a game played in Seville due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning they are winless in all 22 of their visits to England.

Recent Form

Arsenal are bidding to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2010, with their nine last-16 eliminations a competition record ahead of Porto and Real Madrid, who have eight apiece.

The Gunners have lost each of their last five home knockout games in the Champions League, the most recent one being a crushing 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in 2017. Before this run, they had only lost two of their previous 17 such matches in the competition (10 wins, five draws).

They have been in remarkable form on the domestic front lately, though, and will be hoping to carry that on to the European stage.

Arteta’s team have won all eight of their Premier League games in 2024. The three previous teams to start a calendar year with eight straight wins in the competition went on to claim the title – Manchester United in 2009, Liverpool in 2020 and Man City in 2021.

Porto, meanwhile, have only won two of their 22 all-time away games in the Champions League’s knockout stages, with both of those victories coming in Spain, against Deportivo de La Coruña in the 2003-04 semi-finals and Chelsea in the 2020-21 quarter-finals.

They are unbeaten in six straight games across all competitions, winning five and playing out a 1-1 draw with Gil Vicente in the Primeira Liga.

Arsenal vs Porto Prediction

Arsenal vs Porto Prediction

Arsenal must win Tuesday’s game to at least force extra-time in the tie, and the Opta supercomputer makes them big favourites to get back into it.

Of 10,000 pre-match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off, Arsenal won 73%, with Porto triumphing in 10.8% and holding out for a draw in 16.2%.

Overall, Arsenal’s chances of winning the tie and reaching the last eight are rated at 62.2% to Porto’s 37.8%. The Gunners go on to be crowned European champions in 6% of our tournament simulations, making them sixth favourites overall.

Arsenal vs Porto UCL Squads

Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale, David Raya, Karl Hein, William Saliba, Ben White, Gabriel, Jurriën Timber, Jakub Kiwior, Cédric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey, Martin Ødegaard, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Fábio Vieira, Mohamed Elneny, Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, Myles Lewis-Skelly, Ethan Nwaneri, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson.

Head coach: Mikel Arteta

Porto: Cláudio Ramos, Gonçalo Ribeiro, Diogo Costa, Fábio Cardoso, Pepe, Iván Marcano, Zaidu, Jorge Sánchez, Wendell, Otávio, Martim Fernandes, Zé Pedro, Stephen Eustáquio, Marko Grujić, Nico González, Iván Jaime, André Franco, Alan Varela, Romário Baró, Vasco Sousa, Bernardo Folha, Mehdi Taremi, Francisco Conceição, Pepê, Galeno, Danny Namaso, João Mário, Toni Martínez, Evanilson, Gonçalo Borges.

Head coach: Sérgio Conceição

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