* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Chelsea face a tricky away first leg in their Champions League quarter-final against Porto on Wednesday night. The Portuguese side are on a good run and have only lost two of their last 15 matches in all competitions. Meanwhile, Chelsea are doing even better, as the Blues have lost just one of their last 15.
Wednesday 20:00 – Porto v Chelsea
BT Sport 2
The market has made Thomas Tuchel’s men strong favourites to win the match, but we want to find the best value possible from the game. Let’s have a look at three super selections for this Champions League quarter-final encounter.
In the league, 54% of Porto’s home matches have seen Both Teams to Score landing. It doesn’t stand so high looking at Chelsea’s away Premier League record though, and since Thomas Tuchel has taken charge they’ve actually only conceded seven goals in 15 matches. However, they face a Porto side who have only been kept scoreless in two of their last 48 home matches in all competitions.
Chelsea and Tuchel deserve the praise they’ve been getting for shoring up what was a leaky defence, but there’s quite a difference between keeping Burnley, Newcastle and Sheffield United scoreless and keeping a rampant Porto out. Juventus’ defence couldn’t keep Porto away from goal over both legs in the Last 16, and most would agree they’ve got a stronger defensive unit than Chelsea.
Porto do most of their damage in the second half of matches, scoring 15 over 13 matches in the league and have netted eight second half goals over their last six home matches. Under Tuchel Chelsea have had a total of seven away matches, scoring just seven goals with four of them coming in the second half.
This season’s Champions League record has seen them netting 11 on their travels, eight of which were during the second half. The safer bet is obviously Both Teams To Score and it’s still available at good odds at the time of writing, but there’s even more value to be had going with Both Teams To Score In The Second Half.
Much was made of Chelsea’s shock 2-5 home loss to West Brom at the weekend and while unbeaten runs must always come to an end, it’s still a bit mad to think that The Baggies put five past a Blues side who pretty much had the same starting XI that beat Atletico Madrid a few weeks prior.
As we’ve made clear above, neither side are known for their first half exploits. There’s an interesting stat in that both teams have been level with their opponents in three of their last five home/away outings and we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a very cagey first 45 minutes here.
Nobody expected Porto to dump Juventus out of the Champions League this season, and nobody predicted to keep Manchester City scoreless when they held them to a 0-0 draw in early December.
This team is full of surprises and while Chelsea would have the stronger squad on paper, their defence can be exposed – particularly when teams get in behind them. West Brom showed the world how to beat Chelsea doing just that last weekend and you’d be mad if you thought Sergio Conceicao wasn’t going to take directly from Sam Allardyce’s playbook for this clash.
The Blues have drawn two of their last five on the road and have only scored a grand total of four goals over those matches. Against this attack-minded Porto side they most certainly will have their backs to the wall for periods of the game. Porto’s impressive home record really swings it here and having only lost just two of their last 32 home matches, we’re going with the value odds on this one.
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