Porto out to make progress against Monaco


FC Porto are closing in on a place in the knockout rounds as they bring down the curtain on their Group G campaign against an AS Monaco FC side who are making an early exit from Europe.

• Porto famously beat Monaco in the 2004 UEFA Champions League final and earned another 3-0 victory against the Ligue 1 outfit on matchday two this season. That has helped the Dragons to seven points in the section, level with RB Leipzig; they are through if they win, or as long as they are at least level on points with Leipzig due to their superior head-to-head on goal difference.

• Monaco, who have two points, will finish fourth.

Previous meetings
• Their sole encounter before this season could not have been more high profile, as José Mourinho’s Porto took on a Monaco team coached by Didier Deschamps in the 2004 final. Goals from Carlos Alberto (39), Deco (71) and Dmitri Alenichev (75) gave the Portuguese club the trophy for a second time, following their 1987 triumph.

• The line-ups at the Arena AufSchalke on 26 May 2004 were:
Monaco: Roma, Zikos, Givet (Squillaci 72), Rodriguez, Evra, Ibarra, Bernardi, Giuly (Pršo 23), Cissé (Nonda 64), Rothen, Morientes.
Porto: Vítor Baía, Ferreira, Costa, Carvalho, Nuno Valente, Costinha, Maniche, Pedro Mendes, Deco (Pedro Emanuel 85), Derlei (McCarthy 78), Carlos Alberto (Alenichev 60).

• The match was Mourinho’s last in charge of Porto; he departed for Chelsea FC on 2 June 2004.

• Current coach Sérgio Conceição joined Porto as a player from SS Lazio midway through 2003/04, but had already represented the Italian club in that season’s UEFA Champions League and was therefore ineligible for European action.

Match background

• Porto’s record at home to Ligue 1 sides is W8 D2 L1; they have won the last three, both at home and overall. The sole defeat was a 2-0 loss to FC Nantes in the 1971/72 UEFA Cup first round (1-3 aggregate).

• The Portuguese side suffered a 3-1 loss against Beşiktaş on matchday one, but recovered to beat Leipzig by the same scoreline in their second home game.

• Porto have won only three of their last nine home matches in European competition. In last autumn’s group stage, they picked up seven points at home.

• This is Porto’s seventh successive group stage campaign and their record-equalling 22nd in total. In 2016/17, they reached the round of 16, bowing out against eventual runners-up Juventus (0-2 home, 0-1 away).

• Porto had lost their previous three UEFA Champions League fixtures, home and away, before winning at Monaco on matchday two; the ensuing Leipzig success on matchday four was their second victory in their last seven games in the competition.

• Last season was the third time in the last six campaigns that Porto had progressed from their group.

• Before this season, Monaco had qualified from the UEFA Champions League group stage on their last four participations.

• The French team are without a win in their three visits to Portugal (D1 L2), most recently losing 1-0 at SL Benfica in the 2014/15 group stage.

• Monaco have collected all their points on their travels in this season’s competition thanks to a pair of 1-1 draws, at debutants Leipzig on matchday one and away to group winners Beşiktaş in the fourth round of fixtures.

• Leonardo Jardim’s men – who claimed the French title in May – lost four of their eight away matches in last season’s competition, winning three and drawing the other.

• Monaco are in their eighth group stage campaign. Finalists in 2004, they got to the semis in 1994, 1998 and 2017. This will be the first time they have come fourth in a group since 2000/01, when they were bottom in their first-group-stage section.

Coach and player links
• Jardim’s Monaco beat a Nantes team coached by Conceição 4-0 in Ligue 1 on 5 March 2017, Fabinho scoring the last goal from the penalty spot.

• The coaches also crossed paths in Portugal. In April 2012, in his first term as a head coach, Conceição’s SC Olhanense edged Jardim’s SC Braga 2-1 in the Liga; in 2013/14, by then at A. Académica de Coimbra, Conceição posted a win and a draw against Jardim’s Sporting Clube de Portugal.

• Jardim’s domestic record against Porto was W1 D1 L6. He had spells in charge of AD Camacha (2003–08), GD Chaves (2008–09), SC Beira-Mar (2009–11), Braga (2011/12) and Sporting (2013/14).

• Radamel Falcao scored 41 goals in 51 Portuguese Liga appearances for Porto between 2009 and 2011. He won the Portuguese Cup in 2010 and a league and cup double the next season, when he also spearheaded the club’s UEFA Europa League triumph with 17 goals – including the winner in the final against Braga.

• João Moutinho was at Porto from 2010 to 2013, making 83 outings and scoring four goals. A UEFA Europa League winner alongside Falcao, he lifted the league title in each of his three seasons with the Dragons, completing a domestic double in 2010/11.

• Moutinho was at Sporting between 2003 and 2010, with the record W7 D3 L8 against Porto.

• Iker Casillas was in the Real Madrid CF side ousted on away goals by Monaco in the 2003/04 quarter-finals (4-2 home, 1-3 away).

• Sérgio Oliveira was coached by Jardim at Beira-Mar in 2010/11.

• Have played together:
Iker Casillas & Fabinho (Real Madrid, 2012/13)
José Sá & Marcos Lopes (SL Benfica youth teams)
Alex Telles & Stevan Jovetić (FC Internazionale Milano, 2015/16)

• International team-mates:
André André, Danilo & João Moutinho (Portugal)
Ricardo Pereira, Sérgio Oliveira & Marcos Lopes (Portugal Under-21)
Yacine Brahimi & Rachid Ghezzal (Algeria)

• Has also played in Portugal:
Diego Benaglio (CD Nacional 2005–08)

• Has played in France:
Vincent Aboubakar (Valenciennes FC 2010–13, FC Lorient 2013–14)

• Ricardo Pereira netted twice in Portugal’s 5-4 win over the Netherlands in the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off second leg. Terence Kongolo was on target for the Dutch.

Match facts

• Sérgio Oliveira will miss the game against Monaco through suspension. Danilo is a booking away from a ban.*

• Porto have won all six home matches in the league this season, scoring 23 goals and conceding just three.*

• Porto have lost just once in their last 14 matches in all competitions (W9 D4).*

• Porto followed up the 1-1 draw at Beşiktaş on matchday five with a same result at CD Aves on 25 November in the Portuguese Liga. It was only the second time that the leaders have dropped points in 12 league matches this term.*

• The result at Aves also meant that Sérgio Conceição’s men failed to win in two matches for the first time this season.

• Ricardo Pereira’s goal at Aves was Porto 50th of the season in all competitions.*

• Vincent Aboubakar has 15 goals in 19 games this season.*

• Yacine Brahimi is the only player to feature in all 20 matches in all competitions for Porto this season.*

• Forward André Pereira, 22, made his debut at Aves as a late substitute.

• Francisco Soares was a starter at Aves, playing his first match since 1 October following a knee problem. Moussa Marega (thigh) also returned to action as a second half substitute having been sidelined since matchday four.

• Aboubakar (Cameroon) and Brahini (Algeria) are on the 11-man shortlist for the African Player of the Year award.

• Monaco have picked up 29 points in 15 Ligue 1 outings this season; only four shy of where they were 12 months ago.*

• Monaco have lost their last three games, their worst run since November/December 2009. The last time they suffered four successive defeats was September/October 2008.*

• ASM went down 2-1 to Paris Saint-Germain on 26 November, their first home league defeat since December 2016. Djibril Sidibé returned to action in that game after two months out with a groin strain.

• Radamel Falcao has scored 13 goals in 12 league games this season. He is among 30 nominees for the 2017 Ballon d’Or, which will be announced on 7 December.*

• Thomas Lemar has not featured since 1 November because of a shoulder injury; Youri Tielemans has been sidelined with a knee injury suffered against Paris on 26 November.*

*Subject to updates

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