FC Porto v Chelsea – Estadio do Dragao at 19:45 live on BT Sport Europe
A midweek return to the UEFA Champions League will surely come as a welcome relief for Jose Mourinho and his struggling Chelsea team. After all, it is a return to familiar territory for the Portuguese manager who made his name with Porto by winning the Champions League.
But, an away trip to face Porto will not be the virtual gimmie that Maccabi Tel Aviv at home was a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately for Jose, his team have not been able to recreate that Champions League result again since, but they will need to if they want to take control of Group G with a second victory tonight.
Star striker Diego Costa is currently serving a three game domestic suspension, so he is free to play to for the Blues tonight and no doubt he will be wanting to make the most of this match, as he will be confined to the stands again this weekend.
Chelsea’s away record in this competition of late, is nothing to write home about. Last season, although they did not lose on their travels, a 1-0 win at Sporting Lisbon and in particular the 1-1 draw at Maribor, shows they are not always at their best on European away days.
Porto meanwhile have a great recent home record in Europe’s top competition, last season their record at the Dragao read P6 W5 D1 L0 and their goal difference was an impressive +15 over those games. That run included their huge 3-1 shock win over Bayern Munich in the first leg of the quarter finals and a 4-0 win against Basel.
Looking at the betting markets here, the home side are priced up as 2.50 jollies and the Asian handicap betting line is set at +/-0.25, which looks a fair line in what should be a tight and tense match.
Porto played out a 2-2 draw in their opening match in Kiev against Dynamo, but they probably feel a little hard done by having taken an 81st minute lead before conceding a late equaliser to deny them a strong start to the campaign.
A draw would not be a bad result for the Blues this evening but Porto coach Julen Lopetegui, has stoked the fires a little by saying that he would like to celebrate Porto’s anniversary (they were formed on 28th September 1893), with a win.
Hopefully, for the fans he is as good as his word and sends his team out to win the match, rather than contain their more illustrious visitors and claim what would still be a valuable point from a draw against the group favourites.
I think we will get a glimpse of the real Chelsea tonight and with a nice touch of value in their Asian handicap price, I am happy to back the English champions with a quarter goal head start. This means that even a draw would return us a profit on the night.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Chelsea +0.25 at 2.02
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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