The first leg in Italy was a closely contested match and a late Romelu Lukaku goal ensured Inter take a slender 1-0 lead to the Estádio do Dragão. The tie is finely poised though and there’s everything to play for. Both sides will be desperate to join their fellow compatriots AC Milan and Benfica into the quarter finals of the Champions League.
For this Champions League clash I’ve combined the data from both teams’ domestic campaigns in Portugal and Italy in one article. That, alongside my Stats Pack Guide should help you compile a bet builder worthy of champion status.
Porto midfielder Otavio is suspended which means either Andre Franco or Stephen Eustáquio will come into the side. The likes of Uribe and Taremi were both rested at the weekend so should be fresh for this clash. Brazilian attacker Evanilson is doubtful with injury but probably would’ve only warmed the bench anyway.
Inter will lineup in their familiar 5-3-2 formation. The big question mark remains upfront where either Lukaku or Dzeko will partner Lautaro Martinez. Belgian striker Lukaku scored the only goal in the first leg off the bench so might just get the nod. Centre back Milan Skriniar is doubtful with an injury so either De Vrij or Darmian will fill in.
Porto average 2.29 goals per game and just 0.71 goals against. This correlates very closely to their xG and xGA numbers. They average nearly 16 shots per game and 5.54 SOT in each fixture. They’ve restricted their opponents to just 2.46 SOT against them per 90 mins, which is incredibly low.
It is noticeable that Porto have conceded very few corners this season at just 3.75 per game. They have obtained 5.29 which is only a mediocre figure considering the strength of their own domestic league. Cards have been high in Porto games with their opponents averaging 4.50 and they themselves racking up a big average of 2.42 cards per match.
Inter average 1.81 goals per game and 1.15 against. Their xG and xGA numbers are also impressive. These numbers are from all competitions. Inter average 16.19 shots per game and just 10.46 against. They fire in over 5 SOT in each fixture which is quite impressive.
Corners have been relatively low in Inter games. Their wide players tend to play inverted, and they’ve only obtained 5.35 corners in each fixture, conceding just 3.46 at the other end. Cards have been high in their games. Internazionale themselves average 1.81 per match whilst their opponents average 2.46.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Mehdi Taremi averages nearly 3 shots per 90 mins for Porto. His accuracy ratio is only 1.27 though so don’t expect that many of his attempts on target. Galeno has an even higher shot rate of 3.73 and is more accurate (1.61 SOT). Elsewhere, Andre Franco averages around 1.50 shots per 90 mins so could be considered in this market.
Lautaro Martinez averages a massive 4.28 shots per 90 mins. He likes to try his luck and has a reasonable conversion rate of 1.68 SOT. Lukaku is more of a hold up target man at times, but still averages over 2 shots per 90 mins with around 50% accuracy. Dzeko is another player to look at in this market when he’s on the field. It is noticeable that both wingbacks Dumfries and DiMarco average 1.58 and 1.95 shots per 90 mins respectively, even if neither are especially accurate.
Player Goals and Assists
Mehdi Taremi has been a beast for Porto this season and has scored 13 goals. He’s also supplied 6 assists and will be a key man for them here. Galeno has 8 goals whilst left winger Pepe has five assists and four goals. Evanilson has some decent attacking numbers but due to an injury concern might only feature from the bench at best.
Lautaro Martinez has been brilliant for Inter this season and scored 13 goals, in addition to supplying 3 assists. Dzeko has 7 goals and Lukaku three from significantly less appearances. The leading assist provider is Barella (6), and he has also netted five goals. Left wing back DiMarco has three goals and two assists.
Porto average 57.40% possession overall in all competitions but that figure drops to just 45% in the Champions League. It is difficult to predict how much of the ball they will get here. In the first leg at the San Siro, Porto generally counter-attacked with 43% possession but they will probably see more of it at home. Several of their players average over 50 passes per 90 mins including centre back Pepe and midfielders Uribe + Grujic.
Inter average 55.50% possession although that is a figure which drops to 48% in the Champions League. It is worth noting that they were in a group which contained both Barcelona and Bayern Munich though. The best candidates for the most passes are those who start at centre back, probably Acerbi, Bastoni and De Vrij. Inter should probably edge possession here and all of those aforementioned players are likely to rack up 50+ attempted passes.
The two obvious candidates for both fouls and cards are midfielders Uribe and Grujic. The latter averages a whopping 3.26 fouls per 90 mins and Uribe isn’t too far behind. Stephen Eustáquio would also be a massive candidate should he start, or even come off the bench. They are not listed here but both Porto fullbacks Sanusi and Mario will come under some pressure due to Inter’s tactical system and attack minded wingbacks.
Striker Lautaro Martinez is going to be a tricky matchup for Porto. He has a high dribbling and fouled rate per 90 mins. The wingbacks DiMarco and Dumfries will regularly get forward causing havoc. Dumfries especially knows how to buy a few cheap free kicks. The big contender to cause problems centrally is playmaker Barella who is on average fouled over twice per 90 mins.
Matchups to watch
Lautaro Martinez vs Pepe
Marko Grujic vs Nicolo Barella
Zaidu Sanusi vs Denzel Dumfries
Inter Milan Cards
With centre back Milan Skriniar likely ruled out injured, midfielder Marcelo Brozovic becomes the most likely card candidate for Inter if he starts. The World Cup also demonstrated Brozovic’s intent to get stuck in on the big stage. Both Barella and Dumfries could also be contenders to go into the book and average 1.11 and 1.40 fouls per 90 mins each respectively.
Otavio will be a big miss for Porto here because he is a foul magnet. Both wingers Galeno and Pepe could swap sides during the match, but Pepe has an obvious clash with Di Marco. Pepe dribbles over 5 times per 90 mins and is sure to cause problems. Franco is taking Otavio’s place and likely to pose a challenge to Inter as well, considering he gets fouled around twice per game. Key striker and main man Mehdi Taremi will have to be handled by one of the centre backs.
Matchups to watch
Denzel Dumfries vs Galeno
Federico Di Marco vs Pepe
Nicolo Barella vs Andre Franco
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
You’ve probably taken a read through the stats pack now and fancy a few picks. If nothing is coming to mind, why don’t I kick you off with four of my value bet builder selections from the pack?