Battle of the defences
Porto and Chelsea face off at the neutral venue of Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan's stadium in Seville for the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. Given both teams defensive abilities and tendencies, will this be a tightlipped game or are we in for a surprise?
The Portuguese giants narrowly saw off Juventus in the last round due to some fantastic defending but also a boatload of luck and some pretty unsportsmanlike conduct, all of which were major contributors in making their last game against Juventus a scintillating game of football.
Given its success, Porto will no doubt be employing the same tactics against Chelsea, a more defensive approach reliant on quick and deadly counterattacks. The issue here is that Chelsea's defence is better than Juve's, but more on that later.
Very impressive stats
Sergio Conceicao's men have not lost a league game in their last 19 outings, in fact, Porto have only lost 2 games across all competitions since November, the recent defeat to Juve as well as a defeat to Braga in one of the 3 domestic cups, which, in all honesty probably matters quite little.
Porto will be in fantastic spirits at the moment and rightly so, if Pepe and co. conjure up the same defensive displays as against Juve, anything is possible.
The Blues are travelling to Seville off the back of an absolutely shambolic 2-5 thrashing at the hands of West Brom, which is far from the build-up they were hoping for. However, it must be said that Chelsea's game plan was shot to pieces after only 29 minutes when Thiago Silva received his marching orders, furthermore, Chelsea were at that point up 1-0 and dominating the game.
This was in fact Chelsea's first defeat with coach Tuchel at the helm, which is a feat in itself. Since Tuchel's appointment Chelsea have amassed 10 wins, 3 draws, and 1 defeat in all competitions along with the goal difference of 19-7 really proving how strong they have been as of late. To clarify, Chelsea had only conceded 2(!) goals in 13 games prior to their defeat against West Brom, a fact that will have Porto worried, at the very least.
Chelsea swatted aside Atletico Madrid without any major difficulty in the last round showcasing their potential. Given that they have been matched up against the "easiest" of the remaining teams, Chelsea have really emerged as dark horses in the race for the Champions League trophy.
Given how strong both teams are defensively and the fact that this will be played at a neutral venue, I will be backing a Chelsea win or draw and under 3.5 goals at 1.50 with Betway.