Porto vs Arsenal: What to expect from Arsenal's first knockout stage fixture in 7 years


Here are key details such as the injury update, predicted lineups and match analysis ahead of the highly anticipated UEFA Champions League round of 16 fixture Porto vs Arsenal.

In what is set to be a major fixture in Mikel Arteta's career as manager of the Gunners, the UEFA Champions League round of 16 fixture, Porto vs Arsenal, is perfectly poised to be one of the biggest games in this week of UEFA football.

This would be the first knockout stage football, Arsenal would be playing in the Champions League since their last appearance in the 2016/2017 season of club football.

Here are key details many should know ahead of the game:

Porto vs Arsenal injury news

Arsenal players' injury news

Best African Footballer of 2023
Thomas Partey

Arsenal midfielders Thomas Partey and Fabio Vieira have returned to training on Tuesday, ahead of their flight to Porto. Both players have been out of action for a significant portion of the season, with Partey last featuring in October, and Vieira since November. Partey's return from thigh surgery was further delayed after he suffered another setback at the start of February, while Vieira underwent groin surgery, which kept him out of action.

However, the Portuguese playmaker has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to regain fitness and is reportedly eager to be fit in time for the Champions League tie against his former club. Vieira was signed by Arsenal from Porto in 2022. With his presence in training, it's highly likely that Vieira will travel with the squad to Portugal alongside Partey.

On the other hand, Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Takehiro Tomiyasu were absent from Tuesday's training, indicating that they may not be included in the travelling squad. Jesus has been out for most of February due to a long-standing knee problem, while Zinchenko has aggravated a calf injury he sustained during Arsenal's 3-1 victory over Liverpool.

Porto players' injury news

Ziadu Sanusi
Zaidu Sanusi

Porto Football Club have recently released their latest injury report which provides an update on the condition of some of the key players ahead of an upcoming match. Among the notable players mentioned in the report is Taremi, who has been instrumental in the team's success this season, having scored six goals in 25 appearances, including two in the Champions League.

According to reports, Taremi sustained an injury to his adductor in his right thigh during a training session on Sunday. He has since received treatment, but his availability for the forthcoming match against Arsenal is still uncertain. The report also highlights that three other players, namely Goncalo Ribeiro, Marcano, and Zaidu, are also nursing injuries and will require further assessment before their participation in the game can be confirmed.

Porto vs Arsenal match analysis

Arsenal Crystal Palace
Mikel Arteta [ X/@Arsenalbuzzcomm]

Arsenal's form since the commencement of football in 2024 is arguably one of the best so far in club football with players showing more confidence on the field of play and with the ball. The Gunners who have won their last three fixtures by a high margin will be looking to continue with this fine form in the first leg of the round of 16 fixtures of the Champions League which would be against Porto.

Arsenal has shown football maturity on the pitch and has been able fill in for vital positions where the club has had players injured since the start of the 2023/2024 club football season a feat they struggled with in the season before.

The Gunners will be looking to secure all three points in the game and it is expected that they go all out against a Porto side who have lost key first-team players such as Zaidu Sanusi and many more due to injury.

Arsenal is expected to maintain a high tempo in the game as they have always done so far in big games this season, Mikel Arteta would be telling his boys that an early result can take the steam out of the opposition and give Arsenal enough time to play their desired game on the pitch, the atmosphere is however against Arsenal as Porto fans will have their eyes and voices set on making the environment as hostile as possible for the Gunners while also showing maximum support to their team.

Porto might opt for a more defensive game, with a target of hitting Arsenal on the counter as this is a position Mikel Arteta's team is often vulnerable in.

Arsenal will be looking to progress to the quarter-finals and as such it is expected that they come out flying on all cylinders in this fixture.

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