While Man City can still only dream about the potential European glory that could be on the horizon for their club, their opponents in Thursday’s Europa League tie could teach them a thing or two about how to win on the big stage.
FC Porto have won the competition (or at least it’s predecessor, the UEFA Cup) twice in the last decade, and are the current holders of the trophy. Within the same decade they have also lifted the Champions League trophy and won seven domestic titles.
Like City, Porto dropped into the competition from the Champions League after finishing in third place in their group, and neither side will be relishing the prospect of faltering at the first hurdle in Europe’s second competition as well.
Porto are undefeated at home this season, winning nine and drawing one in the league, and winning one and drawing two in the Champions League.
City’s form of late has been patchy by their own high standards. They have won just six of their last 12 in all competitions, losing four and drawing two. They only won one of three away games in their short-lived Champions League campaign, and their previously unstoppable strike force is starting to misfire.
Sergio Aguero has managed only one goal in his last seven, Edin Dzeko has just three in 17, while you have to go back 12 games to find the last time David Silva found the net.
Yet despite this, Man City go into the match only narrow underdogs in a close football betting market, priced at 17/10 to win on the night. Porto are 31/20 to win, while the draw is available at 9/4.
The Portuguese side will certainly fancy their chances and that price of 31/20 could represent good business.
They are undefeated at home this season, winning nine and drawing one in the league, and winning one and drawing two in the Champions League.
In their last five home matches they have averaged more than two goals per game, so it is fair to say that the Estadio do Dragao is a bit of fortress.
Considering Man City’s lack of form strikers and Porto’s fine home run we could see a bit of a shock on the cards in this one.
Porto are 333/100 to win the match to nil, and new customers to bwin who register for their free £25 bet stand to win £108.25 if they successfully use it to back this outcome.
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