Champions League Group G: Falcao and Mourinho face Porto return
Chelsea take their Champions League Group G show on the road to Portuguese giants Porto, allowing mercurial manager Jose Mourinho another return to the club he famously won this competition with in 2004.
Mourinho is 15/8 to triumph in this Estadio do Dragao duel, as his embattled Blues search for a reprieve from their Premier League problems. Yet, it may not be completely smooth sailing.
The crafty Portuguese coach has a mixed record at old stomping grounds around Europe, having knocked Chelsea out of this tournament on the way to winning the lot back in 2010 with Inter Milan, though has only managed a draw and defeat in Oporto.
Spirit was shown as substitutes Ramires and Willian’s strikes meant Chelsea clawed back to clinch a draw against Newcastle United last time out, and a splitting of spoils is 11/5 to occur again here, with the brilliant Brazilian duo both 11/2 in the anytime market.
The Londoners have had more success in cup competitions this campaign, smashing four past Maccabi Tel Aviv in their last continental outing, and do hold the head-to-head record against this Oporto outfit with four victories and one draw from six fixtures.
Defence has been a problem for the porous Blues this season, so Mourinho’s men appear excellent value at 11/2 to win and both teams to score, rather than 18/5 for a victory to nil.
Should Chelsea decide to shuffle their attacking pack after lacklustre showings, another prodigal son formerly of Porto could be charged with poaching against his old club.
Radamel Falcao is 6/1 to fire the first goal against the Dragons, with the Dragao previously a happy hunting ground for the hitman. The Colombian sharpshooter struck 72 in 87 outings for Porto and is now 7/4 to prove potent against them anytime, while promising Samba starlet Kenedy is 6/1 to deliver the final blow and capitalise if handed a cameo.
As for the hosts, Julen Lopetegui’s side are 6/4 to claim only a second-ever triumph against Chelsea. The unbeaten Primeira Liga leaders hold the edge in attack based on current form rather than reputation, with Vincent Aboubakar (8/1 to bag a brace or better after hitting a deadly double last time in Europe), Jesus Corona (11/2 to have the final say) and Yacine Brahimi (7/4 to be on target anytime) all superb scoring shouts.
Betting tip: Mourinho will be motivated here so back the Blues @ 11/2 to win with both teams to score