The first part of Liverpool FC's quest for three successive victories having been achieved, they now look to follow up with a win against visitors FC Porto.
The first part of Liverpool FC's quest for three successive victories having been achieved – and in exquisite style with eight goals put past Beşiktaş JK on Matchday 4 – they now look to follow up with another home win against FC Porto to keep their UEFA Champions League qualification hopes alive.
• Their record victory on Matchday 4 breathed new momentum into what had begun to look like a forlorn dream after Rafael Benítez's men had followed their initial 1-1 draw in Porto with successive defeats, 1-0 at home to Olympique de Marseille and 2-1 at Beşiktaş. The Portuguese side arrive at Anfield as leaders of Group A with eight points, four more than Liverpool with Olympique de Marseille occupying second place on seven points.
• Liverpool knew that a home victory against Beşiktaş was crucial to their hopes and after establishing a 2-0 lead at the break they really went to town in the second half, scoring six more times without reply. Yossi Benayoun contributed a hat-trick and Ryan Babel and Peter Crouch scored two apiece. Steven Gerrard got the other goal.
• They still have a lot of work to do but are determined Portuguese opposition will not end their interest in Europe's premier club competition for the second time in three years. In between their two recent appearances in the final – 2005 and 2007 – the Merseyside club had their hopes extinguished by SL Benfica in the first knockout round.
• In that tie Liverpool lost 1-0 away and 2-0 at home, thus confounding the pattern of their games against teams from that country which previously had gone almost exclusively their way. In their previous ten games against teams from Portugal, Liverpool had lost just once, away to Benfica in the 1984/85 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round.
• They have faced Porto just once before at home, winning 2-0 in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup quarter-finals with Jamie Carragher and Gerrard both involved. That season they went on to lift the trophy with a 5-4 golden-goal triumph against Deportivo Alavés in Dortmund. Apart from the Benfica defeat they have only dropped points on one occasion at home to Portuguese opposition – when they were held 1-1 by Boavista FC in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League first group stage.
• In the first game between the sides on 18 September, the five-time European champions went a goal behind in the eighth minute, Lucho González beating Pepe Reina from the penalty spot. Dirk Kuyt's close-range header drew Liverpool level and that is how it stayed with Porto unable to capitalise on the second-half dismissal of visiting winger Jermaine Pennant.
• Porto, who won 1-0 at Beşiktaş and drew 1-1 away to Marseille prior to a 2-1 victory against the French side on Matchday 4 with Tarik Sektioui and Lisandro López on the scoresheet, are getting used to facing English opponents. It happened twice last season when they were paired with Arsenal FC in the group stage, losing 2-0 away. Then in the first knockout round they returned to London to face Chelsea FC. After a 1-1 draw in Portugal they bowed out of the competition after a 2-1 defeat in the second leg.
• They have still to win in England, losing on eight of their nine visits, but will recall that they gave a spirited show at Stamford Bridge last season, scoring first through Ricardo Quaresma before Chelsea hit back in the second half. They will also remember fondly their visit to play Manchester United FC in 2003/04 when a last-minute equaliser from Costinha maintained the momentum which took José Mourinho's side all the way to the UEFA Champions League final in Gelsenkirchen and glory against AS Monaco FC.