Champions League 2018/19 Porto Liverpool tactical analysis
Artwork by @chapulana

Premier League leaders Liverpool travel to FC Porto looking to wrap up a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League for a second successive season. With a 2-0 advantage from the first leg at Anfield, the Reds are odds on to progress, with the Portuguese side facing a mammoth task ahead of them in what would be one of the most unlikely of Champions League comebacks.

Whilst this game may not hold the most interest for the casual observer, from a tactical and coaching perspective there will be a fascinating subtext to the game. This tactical analysis preview will demonstrate why.

Porto’s first-leg change of strategy

Following the first leg, both managers were quite candid about the tactical battle that unfolded on Merseyside, particularly around the surprise system that Sérgio Conceição utilised as an attempt to contain Liverpool.

With Porto usually deployed in a 4-4-2 system, Conceição opted with an unfamiliar 5-4-1 / 3-4-3, a surprise to everyone including Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp.

“We didn’t know before the game, how could we, with Maxi and Corona together that side, not sure if they played it before, we didn’t see it before.”

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