Two of the most wanted Champions League opponents were pitted against each other as FC Basel host FC Porto in the first leg of Champions League’s last 16. FC Porto were tipped by some to become this year’s surprise for the knockout stages, but don’t forget Basel’s results in the group stage against Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Basel are leaders in their domestic competition with an advantage of eight points over Young Boys. They are unbeaten in nine matches, and the latest Super League result is a 1-1 draw against Sion. FC Basel finished their group behind tournament leaders Real Madrid, with 7 points out of six matches. The hosts have a good record against teams from Portugal where they managed to win in 2013 with 3-0 against Sporting and it would be wise to remember just how well Basel have been performing at home where they won against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United in recent years and conceded just one goal from Real Madrid. Schär will serve his suspension which could see Walter Samuel replace him.
FC Porto do not seem to have any injury worries, which of course means Maicon will lead the backline. Casemiro is expected to start right behind Martinez, in a front line made of Quaresma, Brahimi and Martinez. The visitors won their group after four wins and two draws, and will come into the game with the chance to score away goals to help them for the return leg. They will aim for a quarter finals qualification for the first time since 2009, and their squad allows them to make such predictions. Porto has one defeat in their last five away games in all competitions, and they are pretty solid at the back as in the aforementioned games they only managed to concede four goals.
Since this is only the first leg, both teams might try a game on the safe side, which could very well end in a draw at 3.00 with William Hill. Embolo and Streller both have 2.90 odds to score for Basel, while for Porto Tello and Brahimi have 3.00 to score anytime. Martinez is your main choice for the goalscorer market with 2.30 odds, and even the headline markets for the match are: Gashi to score and Basel to win with 9.00 odds and Martinez to score and Porto to win with 4.50 odds. A Basel win has 3.20 odds, and we’re betting 7 units on a Porto win with 2.40 odds from William Hill.