The reliable bookmaker 1xBet talks about the Champions League 5th round match, where Barcelona and Porto will fight for 1st place in Group H on November 28 at the Estadi Olímpic.
Will Xavi’s team overcome their game recession?
The match against Porto is an important test for Xavi. The Catalans’ game has recently raised many questions. The press started to talk about the coach’s dismissal and the appointment of Rafa Marquez, who’s training the second team. Xavi explains the defeats as a performance decline and pressure in the press, but he knows that huge attention is always drawn to the Barça players’ mistakes. The club’s failures are attributed to Frenkie de Jong’s injury, busy schedule fatigue, and some players’ lack of experience. Still, the opponents have the same problems.
In Xavi’s defense, it must be said that he works great with the youth, and it’s important for a club that currently can’t buy expensive ready-made top players. With the new coach, Gavi and Pedri have finally turned into European stars, while Fermin Lopez and Lamine Yamal, already winning competition from Raphinha, are rapidly progressing. Alas, Gavi’s been injured in the national team match and seems to be out for the rest of the season.
Such a young and original core would be a great success for a squad with fewer ambitions, but Barça needs a result here and now. The club strictly saves and counts every euro, so prize money for the Champions League playoffs is a mandatory financial item in the budget. The victory over Porto will take the Catalans into the next stage and reduce the pressure on Xavi.
Experienced Pepe leads the Dragons into battle
The charismatic Brazilian-Portuguese Pepe defended the colors of Real Madrid for ten years and terrified their opponents in El Clasico. It’s not surprising that playing against Barcelona, Pepe received a record 14 warnings. An ordinary football fan might think the player had retired, but he’s still in the ranks, breaking records – in the last round, the 40-year-old footballer became the oldest goal scorer in Champions League’s history. His experience and defensive performance are the foundation of Porto’s success.
Sérgio Conceição’s squad comes to Spain not only to defend. Evanilson already scored four goals, and leading European clubs have long been interested in Galeno. A successful game in Barcelona could allow the Brazilian to change the team this winter. Mehdi Taremi continues to score and is ready to be in the right place at the right time. Porto dreams of beating the Catalans and taking 1st place in the group because, if they lose, the playoffs’ fate will be decided in a head-to-head meeting with Shakhtar.
What to expect
Barcelona and Porto practice combination football and control the ball, so we await a bright game with many chances for both teams. Can Xavi silence his critics?