At the time of writing, it looks as if Paris Saint-Germain are home and hosed in this tie. The French side hold a two-goal lead going into the home leg and will be boosted by the absences through injury or suspension of several important United players, including Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic. Alexis Sanchez is also unavailable, which is a major boost for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Joking aside, United are threadbare and, despite PSG missing Neymar and Edinson Cavani, it’s possible the home team might let loose on the visitors, which is one reason in itself to expect a rash of goals in this fixture. Another is the fact that in their last five games in the Parc des Princes, PSG have scored 16 goals (3.2 per match). For their part, United have bagged three in each of their previous two games, and will have to go on the offensive in France.
With that in mind, we reckon there’ll be goals galore in this one.
Yes, we know Roma won the first leg, but Porto notched an absolutely vital away goal to bring to the Dragao. The Portuguese outfit are pretty formidable in their own stadium, despite losing their most recent fixture at home to Benfica. That loss was the first time they’ve dropped even a single point in Porto in the league since August. Roma will be under the cosh.
The Italian side, meanwhile, have suffered a few high-profile defeats on the road this season, not least a 3-0 loss to Lazio last weekend and a fairly remarkable 7-1 shock away to Fiorentina. With Porto only needing to win 1-0 in normal time, it’s not unreasonable to suggest Sérgio Conceição’s team hold a powerful hand in this tie.
As a result, we like the look of the “To Qualify” market, as it allows for the possibility of the home side progressing after extra time or penalties.
Pick: Porto to qualify – 29/20
Odds correct at time of posting.