Porto out to sink Schalke ambitions

FC Porto are hoping to become the first Portuguese club to eliminate FC Schalke 04 from UEFA competition as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit at the Estádio do Dragão.

Porto are hoping to overturn their first-leg deficit
Porto are hoping to overturn their first-leg deficit ©Getty Images

FC Porto will be hoping to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg when they play host to FC Schalke 04 for a place in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. If they succeed in qualifying for the quarter-finals, it will be the first time the German club have been removed from UEFA club competition by Portuguese opponents.

• The first game at the Arena AufSchalke was a tight affair with a solitary Kevin Kuranyi goal in the fourth minute settling the contest in favour of the home team on their debut in the knockout stages. However, Porto's impressive recent record on home soil allows them to prepare for the 5 March return with plenty of confidence.

• This season Porto have already posted a 2-1 win against Olympique de Marseille, a 2-0 defeat of Beşiktaş JK and a 1-1 draw with Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão and are building an imposing record in familiar surroundings. They have lost just one of their last 19 UEFA Champions League ties there, winning nine and drawing nine. Five of those drawn games have ended goalless. Jesualdo Ferreira's team qualified for the last 16 for the fourth time in the last five seasons after pipping Liverpool to top Group A on eleven points.

• On the other hand, another study of past results is not in Porto's favour because of the eleven two-legged fixtures against German opponents – incorporating both knockout ties and group games – they have come out on top on only four occasions. They won only one of their first four home matches with German visitors – one of those, a 1976/77 UEFA Cup first round meeting against Schalke, ended 2-2 – but have considerably improved matters since, winning five of the subsequent seven home games.

• There was only one defeat in that sequence when FC Bayern München beat them 2-0 in Portugal to advance from the 1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals. At the same stage of the UEFA Champions League nine years later, a 1-1 draw at Estádio Das Antas provided the impetus for another Bayern aggregate victory thanks to a 2-1 second-leg win in Munich. Porto remember much more fondly the 1986/87 European Cup final, when they beat the German giants 2-1.

• When Porto became European champions for the second time it was at the home of these opponents, Schalke's own stadium providing the stage in 2004 when AS Monaco FC were defeated 3-0.

• Schalke's form on their travels in this season's competition has been relatively impressive with only one defeat – a 2-0 reverse at Chelsea FC on Matchday 3. Mirko Slomka's team had earlier secured a 2-0 victory in Norway against Rosenborg BK before a 0-0 draw at Valencia CF on Matchday 5 to qualify for the first knockout round with eight points, four behind Group B winners Chelsea.

• Apart from that 2-2 draw with Porto in 1976/77, Schalke have made one previous visit to Portugal for a UEFA competitive fixture, drawing 0-0 with SC Braga in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup third round before winning the home leg 2-0.

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