Liverpool and Manchester City set to cement their place in the Champions League Quarter Finals

Image courtesy of El Ronzo

Two North West teams are preparing for their second leg last 16 Champions League matches this week.

Liverpool face Primeira Liga leaders FC Porto tomorrow looking for smooth passage into the next stage after a Sadio Mane hat-trick inspired the Reds to a thumping 5-0 away victory at the Estadio do Dragao in the first leg.

Since the Valentine’s Day delight, Liverpool have registered consecutive league victories over West Ham, 4-1, and Newcastle, 2-0, meaning they now sit 2nd in the table.

With a huge Saturday lunchtime clash against Manchester United on the horizon, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could take the opportunity to keep his key players fresh with rotation a big possibility.

Apart from Gini Wijnaldum and Ben Woodburn, who missed the weekend win through illness, Klopp, has the luxury of a fully fit squad to select from.

Adam Lallana will be looking to make his first start since the 3rd round FA Cup victory over Everton in January and Liverpool’s dangerous front three may also be given the night off with Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings both pushing for starts.

Porto will be looking to reclaim some pride and have won three of their last four league games. They hope to welcome back star striker Vincent Aboubakar who missed the first leg.

On Wednesday, Premier League leaders Manchester City are well placed to secure their passage into the Champions League Quarters Finals as they take on FC Basel in the second leg.

The Citizens brushed aside the Swiss champions in the first game as a double from Ilkay Gundogan and further goals from Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero completed a comfortable 4-0 victory.

With qualification almost certainly confirmed City boss Pep Guardiola may also be tempted into making a number of changes with his side set for their fourth game in the space of ten days.

After two 3-0 victories over Arsenal including the Carabao Cup triumph and a 1-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, confidence is high.

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus will be pushing for starts as they both look to continue their recoveries from injury whilst youngsters such as Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz will be hoping Guardiola gives them a place from the start.

City will have to remain on their guard as Basel did create good opportunities in the first leg through Dimitri Oberlin, but their first leg advantage should be more than enough to see them progress.