Spartak Moscow will have to overcome their stuttering early-season form, which sees them languishing at the wrong end of the Russian Premier League, to have any chance of victory over Porto at the Luzhniki Stadium tomorrow night.
The home side have won just one of their first four domestic fixtures this year, with last season’s top scorer Welliton yet to get off the mark.
Such form would make a Europa League success over the Portuguese giants seem unlikely at any time, but with a 5-1 deficit from the first leg hanging over their heads, the feat seems nigh-on impossible.
As such, the travelling Dragons have betting odds of 27/10 to win on the night, while those expecting the visitors to contain their hosts can back the draw at 23/10.
However, home advantage can not be underestimated, with The Meat having never lost to Portuguese opponents in their own back yard.
Home supportors looking to see their side turn their current form around and pick up a face-saving win would see a £10 bet return £28.50.
While Spartak’s strikers have yet to get going on the domestic front, in Welliton, Valery Karpin has a potent goal threat. The forward was the league’s top scorer in Russia last year – banging in 20 goals throughout the season.
Such statistics could mean the striker is poised to come good in the Europa League and at 7/1 to open the scoring in tomorrow’s match, he could offer good returns for interested punters.
While Welliton has to rely on previous form for plaudits, Porto have a player scoring goals in the here and now in Radamel Falcao.
The forward is the competition’s leading scorer with 11 goals – to go with his 12 Liga Zon Sagres efforts – and can be backed at 5/1 to get the game started.
Indeed, the Colombian looks likely to find the back of the net every time he gets a sniff at goal and at 7/5 to score at any time during the match, some fans could view him as a route to free money.
Falcao has proven to be a worthy support act to strike partner Hulk, who has fired 21 goals in domestic league action already this season.
The muscular Brazilian can also be backed at 5/1 to notch first and 7/5 to add his name to the score sheet at any time during the 90 minutes.
With creative attackers in such a rich vein of form, punters looking to see healthy returns could be tempted by the 131/10 odds on an away victory with Hulk to score first.
A £10 stake at such odds would return £141. New customers can register here to receive a £25 free bet.