Champions League Odds, Picks & Predictions: Manchester City vs. Porto (Wednesday, Oct. 21)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images. Pictured: elipe Anderson of FC Porto.
Manchester City vs. Porto Odds
|Manchester City odds||-385 [Bet Now]|
|Porto odds||+950 [Bet Now]|
|Draw||+525 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||3.5 (-108/-114) [Bet Now]|
|Time||Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||CBS All-Access|
Manchester City begin their Champions League campaign on Wednesday as they host Porto.
The Cityzens are lucky to even be in this competition as they were originally banned for two years for violating FIFA Financial Fair Play rules. However, that decision was overturned late last season, allowing them to play.
As one of the richest clubs in the world, Manchester City’s failures in the Champions League have been high publicized and has become a nightmare for the Cityzens. They’ll try to erase some of those demons on Tuesday, but they better be careful, because Porto is no pushover.
The Cityzens come into this match with a 2-1-1 record in the Premier League, but have already suffered a shocking 5-2 loss to Leicester City at home.
However, it’s hard to ignore how good the Cityzens were in 2019-20. Even though they finished in second, City’s +65.12 expected goals differential was nearly 30 goals better than Liverpool’s. They were especially dominant at home too, posting an averaging margin of +1.88 xG per game (2.66 xGF, 0.77 xGA).
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
All that said, this is a precarious spot for Manchester City. Not only are they dealing with a rash of injury issues, but City’s slow start has put them behind the eight ball in the Premier League. They have tricky match traveling to West Ham on Saturday, so City are in a sandwich spot on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola already has announced that midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus are going to miss the next few matches, which is a huge blow as those are two of their best players.
Porto finished as champions of Portugal for the second time in the last three years. They are also no stranger to this competition, as they’ve qualified for the Champions League eight out of the past nine years. They are one of the best teams outside the major five leagues in Europe and have plenty of talent to compete against Manchester City.
To try and compare Porto’s talent level to the Premier League, their total squad transfer value (via transfermarkt.com) is really close to Newcastle or West Ham.
The reason Porto won the Primeria Liga is because of their defense. They allowed only 0.74 xG per match and have plenty of experience at the back. Porto is captained by former Real Madrid defender Pepe and have former Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba.
They also have talent going forward in the form of wingers Jesus Corona and Felipe Anderson. Those two provide enough pace and ability on the ball to give Manchester City’s wing backs some difficulties.
Based on the UEFA Coefficients Portugal is the sixth best league in Europe, so Porto’s defensive record is no fluke. Although Manchester City will be the best team they’ve faced in over two years, I think Porto has the talent and the defense to keep them in this match.
Projections and Pick
Given how good Porto’s defense is, I think they will be able to stay in this game against Manchester City. Not having De Bruyne or Gabriel Jesus clearly had an effect against Arsenal and will likely have an effect on Wednesday as well.
Since I have Porto spread projected at +1.12, I think there is plenty of value on them +1.5 at plus money.
Pick: Porto +1.5 (+114)
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