Porto's last three Champions League groups are truly difficult to believe
Three years in a row now, Porto have been handed favourable draws to say the least. Having avoided the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG, Juventus, Liverpool and the Manchester clubs three times in a row now, Porto's fortune on Europe is a sight to behold.
You could go back as far as five years, even, where they were drawn against Athletic Bilbao, Shakhtar Donetsk and Belarusian outfit BATE Borisov, a group that most top sides would make little work of.
Then, four years ago, Porto were handed another pretty favourable selection of opponents in the group stage of Europe's top competition, handed Dynamo Kiev, Maccabi Tell Aviv and Chelsea, a group which, again, hardly strikes fear into the hearts of Portista's around the globe. It therefore makes it even more disappointing to recall that they only managed to finish third in that particular group, behind their Ukrainian and English counterparts. But, perhaps luckily for Porto, their group still, somehow, has only got easier - or at least stayed as favorable - from there...
In the 2016-17 season, for example, two years ago now, they were drawn in a group that is scarcely believable, such was how unsuitably it appeared to represent Champions League calibre, being handed Leicester City from the top pot, as well as as Club Brugge and Copenhagen. Unsurprisingly, they qualified for the next round - but only in 2nd.
The following season (last year), they were again handed a group that could be considered favourable. In pot 2, Porto again managed to avoid the true European heavyweights, being drawn in a very balanced group alongside newcomers RB Leipzig, Turkish side Besiktas and a heavily depleted Monaco side. Far from a straightforward group, but for a pot 2 club, a group that represented a great deal of good fortune, with no Madrid, Barcelona or Turin in sight.
And Porto have only continued the trend of good fortune; this time around, as a pot 2 side once more, they drew Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow from pot 1 - avoiding Real Madrid, PSG, Juventus, Bayern and co, and getting by far the most favourable opposition. With Lokomotiv, they were joined by Galatasaray and Schalke, avoiding perhaps the hardest possible opponents in pot 3 and 4 in Liverpool and Inter Milan respectively.
As a result, Porto should - hopefully - be in a great position to advance to the next stage of the Champions League yet again.
The full list of Porto's previous three Champions League groups:
2016-17: Leicester, Porto, Copenhagen, Club Brugge
2017-18: Monaco, Porto, Leipzig, Besiktas
2018-19: Lokomotiv , Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray.