FC Porto v AS Roma – Estádio do Dragão at 19:45 live on BT Sport ESPN
This midweek see’s the 1st legs of the Champions League play-offs with a place in the group stages up for grabs. I’ve chosen one of two standout matches for my featured game, as I think there is a good betting opportunity on the Asian Handicap market.
Portuguese side FC Porto host Italians, AS Roma at the Estadio do Dragao, a notoriously difficult place to go. Both sides competed in last years competition and would have been disappointed not to have got an easier route this time round.
Porto’s UCL campaign ended in the group stages last season. After winning 3 and drawing 1 of their first 4 matches, they lost their last 2. Surprisingly they were defeated by Dinamo Kiev at the Dragao, going off as 1.78 favourites. Losing to Chelsea at the Bridge sealed their fate as they dropped into the Europa League.
Roma went one better, finishing runners up in a tough group which included Barelona, Leverkusen and BATE. They went on to lose twice, 2-0, home and away in the last 16, to eventual winners Real Madrid.
The Wolves are edging favourtism to qualify at 1.80 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage, but I think they are a little short. Only one Italian club has made it through the play-offs in the last 6 attempts and Roma are coming into this with no competitive matches under their belt.
They’ve had a successful pre-season however, wining all 6 of their friendlies. Former Man City striker Edin Dzeko has scored 7 in 5 matches and the club will hope his form continues after losing Miralem Pjanic’s to Juventus.
Roma have brought in the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Juan Jesus and Federico Fazio to strengthen up their defence. They have also managed to keep the services of Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman who are fit for this tie.
Porto come into this match as 2.31 favourites and with home advantage, plus having started their season already, this price offers some value.
Nuno Espirito Santo was brought in over the Summer after his ill-fated spell at Valencia last season, being replaced by Gary Neville. He has experience of the Primeira Liga, previously managing Rio Ave, holding a good record.
He was busy in the transfer window, signing full-back Alex Telles, midfielder Joao Teixeira and striker Laurent Depoitre.
The Dragons also enjoyed a strong pre-season with young striker Andre Silva impressing. They opened their league campaign with a 3-1 away win over Rio Ave and should be challenging for the title along with Sporting and Benfica.
A tight match is expected and I don’t see much separating the two teams. Although Roma have enjoyed a decent pre-season, Porto should be more settled and with home advantage I expect them to nick this one. The home side -0.25 on the Asian Handicap betting market offers real value at 2.02
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: FC Ports -0.25 at 2.02
Prices correct at time of writing.
The above picks are available on VOdds. Place your bet now!
Join Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker for the best prices and highest liquidity on the UEFA Champions League.