Porto welcome already-qualified Manchester City to Portugal knowing a point would make sure they join their visitors in the round of 16.
• The Portuguese side have nine points from their four Group C games, three behind City who secured a place in the knockout phase with their fourth win in as many matches last time out. Porto are six points ahead of third-placed Olympiacos, visitors to eliminated Marseille on Matchday 5, and will be guaranteed a top-two finish if they avoid defeat or if Olympiacos fail to win.
• City suffered an early shock at home on Matchday 1 when Luis Díaz gave Porto a 14th-minute lead, but Sergio Agüero levelled from the penalty spot seven minutes later and second-half strikes from İlkay Gündoğan (65) and Ferran Torres (73) sealed the points. Neither side has conceded in Group C since that fixture.
• Before this season, the teams were paired together for the only time in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 32, a City team coached by Roberto Mancini running out comfortable winners against Vítor Pereira’s Porto. Agüero got a late winner in City’s 2-1 comeback victory at the Estádio do Dragão in the first leg, and the Argentinian was also on target in City’s 4-0 home win, scoring a first-minute opener.
• Porto have picked up maximum points since their opening defeat at City, successive home wins against Olympiacos (2-0) and Marseille (3-0) plus a 2-0 win in France last time out lifting them into second place in the standings. Sérgio Oliveira scored in all three victories.
• This is Porto’s 24th UEFA Champions League group campaign, fewer only than Real Madrid and Barcelona (both 25).
• The Portuguese side have qualified for the last 16 on each of their last three appearances in the group stage.
• Porto’s 2019/20 UEFA Champions League campaign lasted a single tie, however, Krasnodar beating them on away goals in the third qualifying round (1-0 a, 2-3 h). They went on to finish first in a UEFA Europa League section including Rangers, Young Boys and Feyenoord, but were beaten by Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 32 (1-2 a, 1-3 h).
• Porto have lost four of their last eight matches in the UEFA Champions League proper (W4) but have been beaten only once in 13 games in the competition’s group stage (W10 D2), winning four in a row before defeat on Matchday 1 this season.
• The Dragons have won only four of their last eight home European matches (D1 L3) but have been victorious in their last seven at home in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Sérgio Conceição’s side won the club’s eighth domestic double in 2019/20, claiming Porto’s 29th league title and a 17th Portuguese Cup.
• Matchday 1 made it three successive defeats against English opponents for Porto, and four in their last five games.
• Their overall home record against English clubs is W8 D6 L5; all five defeats have come in their last eight matches, most recently a 4-1 loss to eventual champions Liverpool in the 2018/19 quarter-final second leg (1-6 aggregate).
• City scored three goals in each of their first three Group C victories, following the home defeat of Porto with 3-0 wins at Marseille and at home to Olympiacos. A 1-0 victory at Olympiacos last time out secured progress.
• City finished second in the 2019/20 Premier League, ending the season 18 points behind Liverpool having won the title in each of the two previous campaigns.
• Josep Guardiola’s side bowed out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter-final stage for the third season running, going down 3-1 against Lyon in their one-off tie in Lisbon.
• City had finished first in their group with 14 points (W4 D2) before seeing off Real Madrid in the last 16, winning 2-1 away and at home against the 13-time European champions.
• This is the Cityzens’ tenth UEFA Champions League campaign; they have been involved in the group stage every season since 2011/12 and have now reached the round of 16 in eight successive campaigns.
• City have scored 45 goals in their last 17 UEFA Champions League matches; over the last two seasons their record is W17 D3 L3 with 61 goals scored and 22 conceded.
• Guardiola’s team have won nine of their last 13 away European matches (D2 L2), both defeats coming in England; the last away game they lost abroad was at Shakhtar Donetsk (1-2) on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
• City’s best UEFA Champions League performance was reaching the 2015/16 semi-finals.
• This is City’s eighth match against Portuguese opponents; before beating Porto this season they had not faced one since that 2011/12 UEFA Europa League campaign. Having eased past Porto in the round of 32, they bowed out on away goals to Sporting CP in the last 16 (0-1 a, 3-2 h) despite Agüero’s second-leg double.
• That defeat at Sporting made City’s record in Portugal W1 D1 L1.
Links and trivia
• Coaches Guardiola and Sérgio Conceição were on opposite sides once in their playing careers, Conceição’s Internazionale recording a 2-1 home win against Brescia on 14 April 2002 despite Guardiola’s first-half penalty.
• Have played in England:
Chancel Mbemba (Newcastle 2015–18)
Marko Grujić (Liverpool 2016–17, 2020; Cardiff 2018)
Felipe Anderson (West Ham 2018–20)
Toni Martínez (West Ham 2016–19, Oxford 2017 loan)
• Have played in Portugal:
Rúben Dias (Benfica 2014–20)
Ederson (Benfica youth 2009–11, Ribeirão 2011/12, Rio Ave 2012–15, Benfica 2015–17)
João Cancelo (Benfica 2011–14)
Bernardo Silva (Benfica 2011–14)
• Bernardo Silva’s only league game for Benfica’s senior side was as a late substitute in a 2-1 loss at Porto on the final day of the 2013/14 season.
• Moussa Marega scored two goals past Ederson in Marítimo’s 4-0 Portuguese Liga win against Rio Ave on 17 May 2015.
• International team-mates:
Pepe, Sérgio Oliveira & Rúben Dias, João Cancelo, Bernardo Silva (Portugal)
Felipe Anderson & Ederson, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)
Agustín Marchesín & Sergio Agüero (Argentina)
• Bernardo Silva and Nanú were team-mates in Benfica’s Under-13 side in 2006/07.
• Torres and Toni Martínez were both youth players at Valencia between 2013 and 2016 but never played in the same team.
• Sérgio Oliveira scored a penalty in Portugal’s 2-0 first-leg victory against Nathan Aké’s Netherlands in the qualifying play-offs for the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship; Bernardo Silva was on target in Portugal’s 5-4 second-leg success despite two Aké goals for the Dutch.
• Torres scored the two goals with which Spain won the 2019 UEFA European Under-19 Championship final against a Portugal side that included Fábio Vieira and João Mário.
• Pepe made his 100th appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final on Matchday 2. He was the 40th player to reach that mark.
• Porto have won 16 of their last 21 games in all competitions (D1 L4), including Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Santa Clara.
• The Dragons have lost four of their last 18 matches in the Portuguese Liga (W12 D2), as many as in their 52 previous league outings (W41 D7).
• Fourteen different players have scored Porto’s 29 goals in all competitions this season, Zaidu Sanusi the latest on Matchday 4.
• Porto reached the last 32 of the Portuguese Cup with a 2-0 win at third division Fabril on 21 November. They will play Tondela in the next round in December.
• Sérgio Oliveira has scored in five of his last seven Porto appearances. He is the club’s top scorer this season with seven goals in all competitions, three of them in the UEFA Champions League.
• Oliveira provided an assist in Portugal’s 7-0 friendly win against Andorra on 11 November.
• Diogo Costa, Diogo Leite, Fábio Vieira and João Mário were all part of the Portugal squad that booked their place at next year’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship with home wins against Belarus (3-0), Cyprus and the Netherlands (both 2-1).
• Vieira scored three goals in Portugal’s last three U21 qualifiers, including both in the closing win against the Netherlands.
• On 2 November Pepe suffered an injury during training and has not played since.
• Two days later, the 37-year-old defender extended his contract until June 2023.
• Matheus Uribe came on as a substitute on Saturday having not played since Colombia’s 6-1 defeat in Ecuador in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on 17 November; he had been suffering with an abcess.
• Goalkeeper Mouhamed Mbaye faces a lengthy period on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury in training in early September.
• Marko Grujić suffered concussion during training with Serbia over the international break, returning at Marseille on Matchday 4 to make his first start in the UEFA Champions League; he was sent off for two second-half bookings.
• On 19 November City announced Josep Guardiola had signed a new two-year contract with the club, running until 2023.
• City have taken 15 points from their first nine Premier League games of the campaign (W4 D3 L2); a Riyad Mahrez hat-trick inspired Saturday’s 5-0 home win against Burnley.
• Benjamin Mendy scored his first goal for the club against Burnley, his 60th appearance in all competitions. His previous goal had come for Monaco on 1 March 2017.
• A 1-0 home win against Arsenal on 17 October was Guardiola’s 500th as a coach; he has now recorded 177 victories with City.
• The Cityzens were beaten 5-2 at home by Leicester on 27 September, the first time they had conceded five goals at home since February 2003 against Arsenal. It was also the first time a side managed by Guardiola had conceded five goals in a match, in his 686th game as a coach.
• City, who have won the English League Cup in each of the last three seasons, will visit Arsenal in the quarter-finals on 22 December.
• Mahrez scored as Algeria drew 2-2 against Zimbabwe on 16 November to confirm their place at the 2021 CAF Africa Cup of Nations. He was also on target in a 3-1 home win against the same opponents four days earlier.
• A Ferran Torres hat-trick helped Spain to a 6-0 home win against Germany in the UEFA Nations League on 17 November, Rodri also finding the net as the home side reached next year’s Finals.
• Also in the UEFA Nations League on 17 November, Rúben Dias scored his first two international goals, the second a last-minute winner, as Portugal won 3-2 in Croatia.
• Phil Foden scored twice in England’s 4-0 home win against Iceland in the UEFA Nations League on 18 November, his first international goals.
• Bernardo Silva won his 50th international cap in Portugal’s 1-0 home defeat by France on 14 November.
• Kevin De Bruyne scored his 20th international goal in a 4-2 home win against Denmark on 18 November that secured Belgium’s place at the UEFA Nations League Finals.
• Sergio Agüero returned to action on 17 October having been out since 22 June with a knee injury. The Argentinian’s penalty against Porto on Matchday 1 was his first goal since 4 March; that gap of 231 days between strikes is the longest of Agüero’s career.
• Agüero started the 1-1 draw at West Ham on 24 October but was withdrawn at half-time with a thigh injury and did not play again until coming on as a substitute on Matchday 4. He sat out Saturday’s game with a swollen knee.
• Mendy (knee, out since 3 October) and Fernandinho (leg, out since 21 October) both returned at Olympiacos, the former as a starter and Fernandinho as a substitute.
• Nathan Aké, whose Matchday 3 appearance was his first since 17 October, limped off with a hamstring injury five minutes into the Netherlands’ 1-1 friendly draw against Spain on 11 November and has not played since.