Porto v Roma: Drama to unfold at the Dragao

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THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Last 16 continues on Wednesday. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets from Roma's trip to Porto.

Porto v Roma | Wednesday 6th March 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport

This, on the face of it, is the most finely poised tie of the Last 16 and we should be in store for a dramatic second leg. Roma hold a 2-1 lead over Porto and the Italians are priced at 7/10 to progress with the Portuguese outfit at 6/4 in the same market.

Both sides come into this one on the back of disappointing domestic derby defeats. Porto lost out to Benfica at the Estadio Dragao whereas Roma succumbed to a surprising 3-0 loss against local rivals Lazio in the Derby della Capitale. It would be no surprise if the pair had this mammoth match-up in mind.

To be fair to the Azuis e Brancos, they dominated against Benfica on Saturday night, winning the shot count 22-9, but their opponents created more clear cut opportunities and were simply more clinical. That defeat saw the Benfica overtake Porto in the Liga NOS table and it could’ve hit confidence.

Roma fans will not have been happy at how their side performed against the Biancocelesti on Saturday night. They were probably a touch unlucky not to register at least a goal though producing a 1.21 xG; that was largely down to a close range miss by Javier Pastore, mind.

Goals on the agenda

It took a while for the first leg to ignite but the second half saw three goals. Both sides are regularly involved in goal heavy games, particularly in this competition. Three or more goals have been scored in the last five Porto Champions League fixtures whereas 10 of Roma’s last 11 matches in this competition have broken the Over 2.5 Goals barrier.

With both sides more than capable going forward but looking increasingly suspect at the bac,k the 3/4 (Betfair) on Over 2.5 Goals looks a sensible initial angle to take here.

Dirty Dragao dust up?

With so much at stake and the tie on a knife-edge it would be no surprise to see cards dished out. In Serie A, Roma average over two cards per-game, whereas Porto are averaging a tad under two on average per-game in their domestic league and the Champions League. It’s arguably both sides biggest game of the campaign and Portuguese/Italian teams tend to be more aggressive than most.

We can back Over 1.5 Cards for both sides at 4/5 with BetVictor’s ‘PriceItUp’ feature and given the circumstances, it looks a great play. It also landed in both sides respective games at the weekend, and the same bet is as short as 8/13 elsewhere.

Possible penalty?

As I mentioned in my piece for the first leg, there has been eight spot kicks given in Porto’s last seven games in this tournament – that’s double that of the next highest side on the same metric.

With last ditch defending and a counter-attacking threat both likely in this game it looks worth having a punt on a spot kick to be awarded at 23/10.

Best Bets

Porto v Roma – Over 2.5 Goals (3/4 Betfair)

Porto v Roma – Each team to receive Over 1.5 Cards (4/5 BetVictor)

Porto v Roma – A penalty to be awarded (23/10 Boylesports)

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