Prediction & odds for the game: Porto (4/1) v Chelsea (3/4) – ST is backing the away win
When: Wednesday, 7th April @ 8pm K.O
Where: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium
Porto and Chelsea will meet in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League tie this week as the push for a semi-final spot heats up.
They may not be leading the title race over in Portugal but in the Champions League, Porto have really hit their stride. They just keep on surprising people with solid performance after solid performance and now, we’re at a stage whereby there is actually a feasible route to the final for them. We all remember their phenomenal run to the trophy with Jose Mourinho back in the day, but in the modern era, it’d be crazy to see them go all the way.
After getting through a tough group Porto were tasked with taking on a tough Juventus side, but instead of being intimidated by them, they rose to the challenge in a huge way. They won the first leg 2-1 and despite losing the second 3-2, Porto progressed into the quarters on away goals – and with just 10 men on the pitch.
Chelsea are starting to look like an elite level team again and Thomas Tuchel has had a big role to play in that. Alas, they aren’t quite at the point where we can anoint them as the next big thing in English football, especially after the West Brom result – but it’s a solid starting point. The tricky part now will be for them to regroup and rediscover the defensive consistency that has excited so many fans across the last few months.
The Blues looked really good in the group stage and continued to go from strength to strength as we entered the knockout stage. They beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 in a tense first leg in the Round of 16, and then in the second leg, they won 2-0 in a game where they never seemed to be in much danger.
With this being the first leg we think there’s going to be a pretty substantial feeling out process, similar to what we wound up seeing between Chelsea and Atletico in their tie. Porto will try and find their openings that are likely to be few and far between, with Chelsea looking to dictate the pace of it all. Whichever way you look at it this doesn’t feel like it’s going to be much of a goalfest, which is why we’re backing the Blues to edge out a slender – and vital – first leg win.
Our official scoreline prediction is going to be 1-0 Chelsea, ensuring we stick to the under 2.5 goals bracket.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 3/4 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/6 (All odds are taken from bet365).
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