Preview: AC Milan vs. Porto 

Preview: AC Milan vs. Porto 

AC Milan will hope to avoid a third consecutive defeat in the 2021-22 Champions League when they welcome Porto to San Siro in Group B on Wednesday night.

The Rossoneri went down 1-0 to Sergio Conceicao’s men in matchday three, with the visitors seeking to keep the pressure on second-placed Atletico Madrid this week.

For all of their impressive results in domestic action, AC Milan have just not been able to hack it in the Champions League, and their adventure in Europe’s premier competition is already at risk of ending before it has even begun.

Following a thrilling 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on the opening matchday and subsequent painful late loss to Atletico Madrid, Milan remained winless and pointless in Group B as a 65th-minute winner from Luis Diaz handed Porto all three points on matchday three.

Unsurprisingly rooted to the bottom of the rankings and guaranteed to stay there by the close of play on matchday four, Milan’s hopes of making the last-16 could be dashed this week, and even the consolation prize of Europa League football now seems a step too far.

The injury-hit Rossoneri can at least boast three consecutive Serie A triumphs heading into their clash with Porto, the most recent of which saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Franck Kessie net in an ill-tempered 2-1 win over Roma, with Theo Hernandez seeing red on the day.

Stefano Pioli’s men have also marched to five victories from six at San Siro this term – with the outlier being that late defeat to Atletico – and the hosts must turn their fortunes around as a matter of urgency if they are to prolong their continental journey.

With any brief links with the Tottenham Hotspur job now seemingly dead in the water, Sergio Conceicao is now simply focused on leading Porto to another Champions League knockout stage, and their hopes of usurping Atletico are still very much alive.

The Primeira Liga side are only behind Atletico on goal difference – with that 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool doing them no favours on that front – but they will now be praying for the Reds to do them a favour against the La Liga champions while they take care of business in Milan.

Since overcoming the Rossoneri thanks to that Diaz winner last month, Porto have suffered a shock Taca da Liga exit to Santa Clara but bounced back with a 4-1 thrashing of Boavista on Saturday, with Diaz, Danny Loader and Evanilson (2) all making the net ripple.

That triumph was Porto’s fifth from six games in all competitions, and they have lost just once in 15 away games since March, but not one of those encounters has taken place at the inimitable San Siro, where Milan will desperately seek to keep any fleeting qualification hopes alive.

AC Milan Champions League form:
AC Milan form (all competitions):
Porto Champions League form:
Porto form (all competitions):

We say: AC Milan 1-0 Porto
Milan and Pioli will know that anything other than three points will likely spell the end of their time in Europe for another year, and the Rossoneri ought to use their stellar league form as motivation to get the job done in midweek.

Porto have held their own so far but are now facing a daunting trip to a Milan side desperately seeking to claw their way back into contention for a top-two finish, and we can envisage the Serie A giants coming up trumps by the narrowest of margins.

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