Bayern battling to keep European dreams alive in Porto clash
Reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will have to overturn a disappointing 3-1 first leg defeat to Porto in order to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals, when they host their Portuguese conquerors at the Allianz Arena.
Pep Guradiola’s German league leaders are 5/2 with Coral to win by three or more goals in 90 minutes (maximum stake of £20), with the Bavarians having stumbled to a shocking first leg loss at the hands of the Dragons in an intimidating Estadio do Dragao.
A double from experienced wideman Ricardo Quaresma and a second-half strike from Porto top scorer Jackson Martinez helped earn a jubilant win on home soil, but Thiago Alacantara’s away goal has given the German outfit the glimmer of hope they need to begin an emphatic European comeback.
Despite their Champions League hopes hanging in the balance, normal domestic service resumed in their previous league outing, as they earned a comfortable 2-0 victory over Hoffenheim, as they close in on retaining their title.
The last time that the Portuguese club reached the semi-finals was in 2004, when former boss Jose Mourinho famously guided Porto to a famous European triumph.
Julen Lopetegui’s men have been in sensational form this year, winning 13 of their last 15 games and have secured four consecutive victories in all competitions, but they are a 9/1 chance to overcome Munich again in 90 minutes.
The hosts will remain hampered by a long list of injured stars, with David Alaba, Medhi Benatia, Javi Martinez, Frank Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Sinan Kurt and Claudio Pizarro all currently sidelined. Porto could be boosted by the return of menacing marksman Martinez, who is carrying a groin injury, while Cristian Tello is also set to comeback from a thigh problem. However, Alex Sandro and Danilo will not feature after picking up suspensions.
In-form Colombia international Martinez struck in the reverse clash in Portugal, and has slotted home 23 goals in all competitions this term. The prolific Porto poacher is a 10/3 chance to net again anytime in 90 minutes.
The visitors will be hoping German World Cup winning forward Thomas Muller can fire them to a resilient fight back, with the clinical attacker available at 4/1 to open proceedings at the Estadio do Dragao.
Porto will have to withstand an onslaught from a determined Bayern outfit on home soil, as the Bavarians battle to keep their Champions League dreams alive, but a tough task lies ahead for Guardiola’s men.