Champions League Betting: Man Utd v Porto (Recommended bets by


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Dec 2, 2008
Champions League Betting: Man Utd v Porto

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Those who think this will be a walk in the park have probably forgotten the sight of Jose Mourinho sliding down the Old Trafford touchline on his knees and/or are unaware of Porto's 21-match unbeaten run, says "Mystical" Mike Norman. Best bet: Back "NO" Man Utd Clean Sheet @ 2.1.
Recommended Bets: Back NO option in Man Utd Clean Sheet @ [2.1]; Back Over 2.5 Goals @ [2.08]; Back Lucho Gonzalez to score at Any Time @ around [6.5]​
It's been five years since Jose Mourinho danced his way down the Old Trafford touchline, as his FC Porto side defeated Manchester United in the last-16 of the Champions League.

Now, after exacting revenge over the Special One by virtue of knocking out Inter Milan last month, Sir Alex Ferguson and his United side have their chance to complete their revenge mission by defeating his old club FC Porto at the quarter-final stage of Europe's elite club competition - starting with the first leg, to be played at the Theatre of Dreams on Tuesday night.

Man Utd are available to back at 1.41 for victory in the match itself, with Porto at 10.5 and The Draw at 4.9. In the To Qualify market, Man Utd are just 1.23 to make it to the next round - Porto can be backed at 5.2.

It won't be an easy game for United, coming less than 50 hours after their hard fought victory over Aston Villa, but with so much strength in depth (no finer example than what Federico Macheda showed on Sunday) you have to fancy the home side to take a first leg advantage to Portugal. Rio Ferdinand misses out through injury but Nemanja Vidic (who was suspended for Sunday's league game) returns, as does Wayne Rooney, who was also banned for the Villa game after his late sending-off at Craven Cottage.

But be warned, Porto are on an unbeaten run of 21 games in all competitions stretching back to November 1st 2008, and are four points clear in the Portuguese Liga Sagres with just seven games remaining.

Their skipper Lucho Gonzalez is a versatile attacking midfielder who possesses a fierce shot and loves to get forward; he was Argentina's sole goalscorer in their farcical 6-1 drubbing away to Bolivia last week. Striker Lisandro Lopez and the fantastically named Hulk will be a constant threat in attack. Porto have scored an impressive 14 goals in their last 5 league games away from home, whilst the last time they played away in Europe they scored two against Atletico Madrid in a game they dominated, should have scored more in and only didn't win because of a monumental blunder by keeper Helton.

Since Man United's record-breaking run of clean sheets was broken, they've conceded 10 goals in their last five Premier League games and looked far from convincing in keeping Inter Milan at bay in the previous round of this competition.

A Man Utd Clean Sheet is available to back at 1.86, but with Porto enjoying an impressive goalscoring run of form on the road (albeit mainly domestically) I just favour the "No" option in this market at 2.1.

Correct Scores of 2-1 (10.0) and 3-1 (16.0) to United are how I'd play in this market, with a saver on the Any Unquoted score (any side to score at least four goals) as the odds of 7.2 look slightly too big in a game that promises to be entertaining and open. Following on from that, I'm favouring the Over 2.5 Goals option at 2.08 - Under 2.5 Goals is available to back 1.87.

Wayne Rooney
is the selection in the First Goalscorer market and he should be available to back at around 6.0 once that market matures, but for an interest throughout the game back Lucho Gonzalez to score at Any Time. As I've stated above, he is an impressive midfielder who loves to get forward, appears in dangerous positions and has a powerful shot. He's scored four goals in his last three league games and should be available to back at around 6.5 once the Betfairians form a market.

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