#360fans: FC Porto vs Chelsea – UAE Supporters Club preview

Sport360 staff 18:36 28/09/2015
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  • Expected to shine: Dani Osvaldo (L) and Chelsea's Eden Hazard.

    Ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Porto, each team’s UAE Supporters Clubs previews the game for Sport360, including predicting the likely XIs and picking their players to watch.

    Do you agree with the assessments of Porto and Chelsea’s Supporters Clubs?  Let us know using #360fans on Twitter or commenting on the Sport360 Football Facebook page.

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    After another poor performance at the weekend, Chelsea fans have to be wondering what is next this season. The first half against Newcastle was truly awful. Shots on target were non-existent and the players seemed to have a complete lack of desire. This only changed after Mourinho brought on Willian and Ramires, with the latter in particular driving the team onwards. Questions need to be asked about Cesc Fabregas, too often anonymous in games this season and playing in a position where the team can not afford passengers. The only highlight to take from the game is clearly a bit of grit shown in coming back from 2-0 down, but we’re the last 20 minutes really a sign of a revival? 

    We will see against Porto. Ahead of the return to Champions League there is at least a bit of good news in that Chelsea’s injury list seems to have diminished over the last few weeks with both Oscar and Willian returning to the squad. Thibaut Courtois is of course still out with a knee problem, but against Porto Diego Costa is free once again to menace defenders. 

    Chelsea have played Porto six times in European competition, the last coming in November 2009. The 2003-04 Champions League campaign was a memorable one both for the Blues, Porto, and Jose Mourinho. Getting to the semi-finals was a major achievement for Claudio Ranieri’s Chelsea side and though Monaco triumphed in the semi-final, our future manager was celebrating in the final as Porto won the Champions League title in emphatic style, Jose Mourinho overseeing a 3-0 win – the second biggest margin of victory in a final in the Champions League era. 

    CHELSEA PLAYER TO WATCH: Eden Hazard. There were signs on Saturday that he is beginning to come to life and a few more performances like the last twenty minutes at Newcastle are sure to lead into a full blown return to form. 

    PORTO PLAYER TO FEAR: Dani Osvaldo. With the experience of Premier League football under his belt, Osvaldo could be key to getting under the skin of the Chelsea defence. John Terry could be back in the starting XI and it will be a tough challenge for the Blues skipper against a real nuisance of a striker. 

    LIKELY CHELSEA XI: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Pedro, Ramires, Hazard, Costa

    WHERE TO WATCH: Although a late kick off, as ever, the faithful will be watching the game in Loca at the Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa. If you would like to know more about the UAECSC please email [email protected]

    FACEBOOK: Chelsea Supporters Club UAE


    The Estádio do Dragāo is getting ready for an epic battle, a showdown in which Porto legends Jose Mourinho and Radamel Falcāo once more set foot on the hallowed turf. This time, however, they will not be received as heroes. 

    Julen Lopetegui’s men will not have an easy task ahead as the English champions are geared up for a big performance in the Champions League. Coming to Portugal on the back of another poor domestic result, Chelsea will pose a real threat for Porto as they look to bounce back. The Champions League is full of challenging matches and Porto love these kind of situations; being the underdog is something that spurs them into action and has historically made the team rise up to the challenge. 

    FC Porto are in their 20th season in the Champions League since the old European Cup was revamped – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United are the other teams to have 20 under their belt. Even with all the changes to last year’s squad, Lopetegui has at his disposal players like Iker Casillas and Maxi Pereira, who have added even more experience to the team. Corona and André André brought strength to the attack, while 18-year-old midfielder Ruben Neves is already causing a stir, showing great vision despite his such young age. Brahimi would be another player to look out for but it’s doubtful that he will play due to injury; his flashes of brilliance will be missed if he can’t join the team.

    Iker Casillas will be a key figure for Porto when they host Chelsea on Tuesday. 

    Mourinho’s Chelsea have had an abysmal start of season and this is a bad spell that FC Porto can take advantage of. Mourinho and Chelsea have never won at Estádio do Dragāo, which also bodes well. 

    PREDICTION: Porto 2-1 Chelsea

    LIKELY PORTO XI: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Martins Indi, Maicon, Marcano, Rúben Neves, André André, Danilo, Imbula, Aboubakar and Jesús Corona.

    PORTO PLAYER TO WATCH: Vincent Aboubakar. He is in great scoring form and already has two goals in this season’s Champions League.  Aboubakar’s presence has ensured Jackson Martinez is starting to become a faded memory.

    CHELSEA PLAYER TO FEAR: Diego Costa. He is a player who can decide everything in one or two magical moments but who is equally dangerous because of his well-documented dirty tactics. 

    WHERE TO WATCH: Our favourite place to watch is at the Underground, Habtoor Dubai Marina. The atmosphere is always great!

    FACEBOOK: FC Porto Dubai www.facebook.com/FCPortoDubai?fref=ts