Roma v Porto background

19 Aug

Both experienced UEFA Champions League campaigners, Roma and Porto know one of them will miss out on the group stage as their play-off tie draws to a close in the Italian capital.


Previous meetings
The first leg on 17 August finished 1-1. Porto’s André Silva equalised from the spot, team-mate Felipe having inadvertently deflected a well-worked corner past Iker Casillas midway through the first half. Roma played almost an hour with ten men following the dismissal of Thomas Vermaelen (41) on his debut for the Serie A side.

• Prior to the first leg, the clubs’ only past UEFA competition encounters were in the 1981/82 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round; Herman Stessl’s Porto triumphed 2-0 at home and drew 0-0 away a fortnight later.

• Porto’s record in 27 games against Italian teams is W7 D9 L11 (W4 D6 L3 at home – W3 D3 L6 in Italy). These matches include two played on neutral territory: a 2-1 loss to Juventus in the 1984 European Cup Winners’ Cup final in Basel and a 1-0 defeat by AC Milan in the 2003 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco.

• Roma’s record in 13 meetings with Portuguese clubs is W5 D6 L3 (W3 D2 L1 at home  W2 D3 L2 in Portugal).

Match background
• Porto have not won in their last five UEFA fixtures.

• The Dragons made their UEFA Champions League play-off debut in 2014/15, beating LOSC Lille 1-0 away and 2-0 at home.

©AFP/Getty Images

Roma celebrate their goal at the Estádio do Dragão

• Roma got to the round of 16 last term, going down 4-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid.

• This is Roma’s first UEFA Champions League play-off – they have twice appeared in UEFA Europa League play-offs, comfortably eliminating Košice in 2009/10 (in Luciano Spalletti’s first spell as coach) but bowing out to Slovan Bratislava in 2011/12.

Team and coach links
• Roma’s Argentinian forward Juan Iturbe was a Porto player from 2011 to 2013, but made just 11 apearances for the Dragons, six in the Portuguese Liga.

• Roma boast Portuguese talent in the form of defender Mário Rui, a youth-team player for Benfica and Sporting who has been in Italy since 2011.

• Porto’s Danilo Pereira (Parma 2010–12) and Alex Telles (Internazionale Milano 2015–16) have played in Italy.

• Porto’s Brazilian midfielder Otávio and Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker were team-mates in Brazil with Porto Alegre-based Internacional.

• Roma keeper Wojciech Szczęsńy was an unused substitute as Poland succumbed on penalties to a Portugal side featuring Porto’s Danilo Pereira in the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-finals.

• Porto custodian Casillas was on the bench when Spain lost 2-0 to an Italy team containing Roma’s Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi in the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16. Casillas also faced De Rossi twice at UEFA EURO 2012; Spain thrashed Italy 4-0 in the final after a 1-1 group-stage draw.

• Casillas took on Roma seven times as a Real Madrid player with the record W4 L3.

Coach profiles
• Sao Tome-born Nuno Espírito Santo rejoined Porto in June 2016, having previously represented the club during two stints as a back-up keeper, succeeding José Peseiro. Initially a specialist goalkeeping coach, he impressed as boss of Rio Ave, then spent 16 months at the Valencia helm from July 2014 to November 2015.

• Luciano Spalletti was appointed by Roma for a second time in January 2016. The one-time midfielder made his name as a coach by earning Udinese a UEFA Champions League place, and won the Coppa Italia twice as Roma boss from 2005–09. He coached Zenit to two championships and a Russian Cup between 2009 and 2014.

• Spalletti faced Porto four times with Zenit without losing (W2 D2).

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