Porto will welcome Nacional to the Estadio do Dragao for a matchdy 10 fixture in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
The hosts scored two late goals to dispatch Pacos de Ferreira 2-1 in the League Cup last weekend to progress to the semi-final, while Nacional were on the wrong end of a 3-1 defeat at home to Santa Clara in the league two weeks ago.
Porto sit third on the league table, four points behind Sporting Lisbon in first and nine points ahead of their next opponents who are sitting in ninth spot.
Porto vs Nacional Head-to-Head
This will be the 29th direct meeting between the two sides and Porto have been historically better than Nacional.
The Portuguese giants have 23 wins and two draws to their name, scoring 70 goals and conceding 14, while Nacional were victorious on just three previous occasions.
Their most recent fixture came on the penultimate matchday of the 2018-19 season, when Porto ran riot in a 4-0 away victory to condemn their hosts to relegation. In that season, Porto were ultimately unable to overtake Benfica at the summit.
Porto form guide (all competitions): D-W-W-W-W
Nacional form guide (all competitions): D-W-W-L-L
Porto vs Nacional Team News
The hosts have three players ruled out through injury. Pepe (foot) is back in training but this game is too soon for him to take part. Ivan Marcano has begun light training after a long spell out with an ACL injury, but will need some more time to regain match fitness.
Mouhamed Mbaye is still sidelined until January with an ACL injury, while Mateus Uribe is suspended following his red card against Tondela.
Injuries: Pepe, Ivan Marcano, Mouhamed Mbaye
Suspension: Mateus Uribe
Manager Luis Freire has no known injury or suspension worries for the trip to Porto. Witi remains a doubt as he needs a negative COVID-19 test if he is to feature.
Porto vs Nacional Predicted XI
Porto Predicted XI (4-3-3): Augustin Marchesin; Zaidu Sanusi, Malang Sarr, Chancel Mbemba, Wison Manafa; Sergi Oliveira, Fabio Vieira, Felipe Anderson; Otavio, Moussa Marega, Jesus Corona
Nacional Predicted XI (4-3-3): Daniel Guimares; Joao Vigario, Lucas Kal, Pedro Henrique, Mabrouk Rouai; Ruben Micael, Abdullahi Alhassan, Vincent Koziello; Kenji Korre, Brayan Riascos, Camacho
Porto vs Nacional Prediction
The last time Nacional were in action was on the 6 December. Since then, Porto have played three games in three different competitions.
The extra rest afforded the Madeirans should ostensibly see them come into this fixture more refreshed and energized but that could count for nothing against the defending champions.
After a slow start to the campaign, Porto have slowly gotten back into top gear and are on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Their goalless draw against Manchester City was the only time they failed to win in that sequence.
The hosts should have no problem picking up an easy victory in this encounter.
Prediction: Porto 3-0 NacionalPublished 18 Dec 2020, 16:30 IST