FC Copenhagen v Porto: Hosts look underrated in crucial clash
Newcomers Leicester City may be one of the stories of the Champions League so far this season but there is a real battle going on below them to secure the second qualification spot from Group G.
Copenhagen host Porto with the Danish side trailing their Portuguese opposition by two points going into the fifth round of six match days. The bookmakers are in universal agreement that it is the visitors that hold the upper hand coming into this match with Ladbrokes going 6/4 (2.50) on an away win. That’s an industry best price at the time of writing.
The home side are priced at 21/10 (3.10) to pick up their second victory of their Champions League group campaign and leapfrog their opposition into second spot. The draw is priced at 11/5 (3.20) by Ladbrokes ahead of what promises to be a fascinating European tie after the two sides played out a 1-1 stalemate in their first meeting back in September.
The fact that Porto are being well backed across the board is a little perplexing, the Portuguese outfit do have a rich Champions League pedigree but haven’t been at their best this season and a trip to the Danish capital is not straightforward.
The hosts have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, the only blip on their form book being a 0-0 draw against Group leaders Leicester City in which they were unlucky not to take three points. Meanwhile the away side lost a cup tie on penalties on Friday night and have picked up just two wins in their last five in all competitions.
Only two of Copenhagen’s last eight Champions League ties has gone over 2.5 goals, with that in mind it’s no surprise to see that bet offered at 5/4 (2.25), especially considering Porto also see low-scoring games in this competition with just two of their last eight reaching this line. “No” on both teams to score is a tempting 4/5 (1.80) shot on that basis but better value may lie in opposing a side who have struggled to produce their best on the European stage.
Brugge are by far the weakest squad in this group and Porto only squeezed past them in both meetings in two single goal victories while Copenhagen were emphatic in handing out a 4-0 drubbing to the Belgians. That form line can’t be taken too literally but the results thus far do suggest that there isn’t much between these teams. Given that they have home advantage, playing in freezing conditions on a pitch which doesn’t lend itself to free-flowing attacking football, Stale Solbakken’s side look a little overpriced.
The best way to try and exploit this looks to be backing Copenhagen on the “Draw No Bet” market at 11/10 (2.10) with Ladbrokes.
The last time they suffered a home defeat was August 2015, a run of 35 matches in all competitions and the bookmakers appear to have overvalued Porto’s patchy form ahead of what is likely to be a tense, low-scoring, high intensity battle in Scandinavia on Tuesday.