Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 4/5
Looking to finish off the job in midweek, Chelsea will once again make the trip to Sevilla’s Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán when they face off against Porto for their second-leg showdown.
Starting with Tuesday’s temporary hosts, despite returning from the international break with a stunning 5-2 defeat against relegation scrappers West Brom earlier in the month, it appears that was just a minor blip for Chelsea. Picking up what could turn out to be a crucial Champions League advantage at this very venue last week, The Blues picked up a 2-0 win in Sevilla and find themselves sat firmly in pole position to book their spot in the semi-final. With it no secret that new boss Thomas Tuchel has another Premier League top-four finish at the top of their agenda, the former champions were last seen over the weekend when breezing past London rivals Crystal Palace. Putting on a rampant first-half display at Selhurst Park, Chelsea cruised their way to a 4-1 romp across the capital and have largely impressed under the one-time Borussia Dortmund boss. Along with shocking many across Europe after coming past Atletico Madrid thanks to a 4-0 aggregate victory last month, Tuchel’s side have lost just one of their 17 matchups since their German boss took charge.
After recovering from a hamstring injury, N’Golo Kante is in contention to feature on Tuesday night and could start in the heart of Chelsea’s midfield.
Defender Thiago Silva is also available to feature in midweek after missing Chelsea’s 4-1 win against Crystal Palace due to suspension.
As for Porto, while the Portuguese giants might have once again impressed many on Champions League duties last week, The Dragons know that they face another real uphill struggle on Tuesday night. Despite laying down the most remarkable of markers as they came past Juventus in a famous night prior to March’s international break, Sérgio Conceição’s side watched Chelsea grab two crucial away strikes in Sevilla six days ago. However, in desperate need of a miraculous display out in Spain this week, Porto did manage to pick up some well-deserved preparation when they turned their attention back to domestic duties over the weekend. Knowing that they must mount a late charge if they’re to defend their Primeira Liga crown this season, The Blue and Whites picked up a 2-0 victory away at Tondela and are still chasing a six-point deficit to league leaders Sporting Lisbon. If Porto are to pull off another stunning upset in midweek, it could be worth keeping an eye out for the returning Sergio Oliveira. Including a brace against Juventus, the midfielder has 18 goals this season.
Porto have been handed a real boost on Tuesday night with the news that both Mehdi Taremi and Sergio Oliveira are set to make their return out in Spain.
However, they are sweating over the fitness of Diogo Costa, Ivan Marcano and Mouhamed Mbaye.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides faced off at this very venue last week, Chelsea picked up a 2-0 victory.
- The Blues have lost just one of their 17 matchups across all formats since Thomas Tuchel took charge.
- Returning midfielder Sergio Oliveira has scored 18 goals across all formats so far this season.
- Including that 2-0 victory last week, Chelsea have scored over 1.5 goals in each of their last five matchups across all formats.
- Porto have failed to win any of their last seven Champions League meetings against English opposition (five defeats, two draws).
Despite that 5-2 defeat against West Brom earlier in the month, Chelsea have certainly bounced back in an eye-catching fashion. Landing a 4-1 win away at Selhurst Park over the weekend and keeping up their momentum, the former Premier League champions also find themselves holding a real advantage. Bagging a pair of crucial away goals, despite once again making the trip out to Sevilla in midweek, Thomas Tuchel’s side firmly sit in pole position. Making the trip back out to Spain holding a 2-0 lead, The Blues should be looking to finish off that job on Tuesday night. Although Porto might have shocked many across Europe with their display against Juventus last month, the Portuguese giants should face a stern test in midweek.
Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 4/5
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