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Spartak Moscow vs. FC Porto: Match Preview

FC Porto striker Falcao


Newly crowned Premeira Liga champions FC Porto have a commanding league over Russian side Spartak going into tonight’s 2nd leg at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Porto, managed by in-demand manager André Villas Boas, have already had success by knocking out one Russian club in this year’s competition. After the elimination of CSKA Moscow in the last round, the Portuguese club will be looking for a repeat performance of their emphatic first leg victory, where they came out 5-1 winners over a stunned Spartak side; a victory which included a Falcao hat-trick.

The Dragões have amassed an impressive 11 wins from 13 Europa League games so far this season, a run which has resulted in many pundits claiming them to be the outright favourites to lift the trophy next month. The extraordinary feat becomes more impressive considering they clinched their League title with five games left of the season. Their success under Villas Boas has seen the former Jose Mourinho protégé linked to a number of high-profile positions, including possible vacancies at Liverpool and Chelsea.

Their starting line-up will likely include Hulk, alongside midfielders Joao Moutinho and Colombian Fredy Guarin.

Spartak, on the other hand, have started their season in the Russian Premier League poorly, with just four points from four games. In Europe however their luck has been slightly different; they knocked out Dutch masters Ajax in the last round with a 4-0 aggregate scoreline.

Prior to the 5-1 result in the first leg, Moscow had lost only once in their last eight European away games; a 4-1 defeat back in the Champions League group stage.

Their line-up will likely include Brazilian striker Wellington as the lone forward man, supported on the wings by Dmitri Kombarov, and former Celtic star Aiden McGeady, who will be hoping to validate his £9.5m transfer fee with a solid performance.


All Competitions:

Spartak Moscow: WWLLD (6 goals for, 8 against)
FC Porto: WWWWW (15 goals for, 7 against)

Europa League:

Spartak Moscow: WDWWL (9 goals for, 8 against)
FC Porto: WLWWW (10 goals for, 4 against)

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