Sevilla v FC Porto : Europa Cup 10th April 2014
Following our last two winning successes with PEC Zwolle V FC Groningen and Borussia Mönchengladbach v SV Hamburger last weekend we continue with the European theme with tonight’s Sevilla v FC Porto : Europa Cup clash.
Sevilla have been playing well at home of late, but their failure to score an away goal against FC Porto last week will prove crucial…
FC Porto have the advantage in this tie after last Thursday’s narrow 1-0 success at the Dragao. It was a disappointing game between two sides who have plenty of firepower, but failed to find the necessary spark.
Manchester City target Eliaquim Mangalascored the only goal of the game in the first half, and Porto survived the late sending off of midfielder Fernando for dissent.
Sevilla have an excellent recent home record, but they are vulnerable after failing to net an away goal. It’s worth considering that in the last 16, Porto won 1-0 at the Dragao against Napoli (who also had a fearsome home record), before securing a 2-2 draw in Italy to book a quarter-final spot. Although Fernando and top scorer Jackson Martinez are suspended, Porto still have dangerous players. Portuguese winger Ricardo Quaresma still produces his old magic from time to time, super-sub Nabil Ghilas has popped up with some crucial goals, and Belgian midfielder Steven Defour is a consistent performer for club and country.
I can understand why Sevilla have been made odds-on favourites. They have won their last three home games in La Liga, including a stirring 2-1 success against Real Madrid, and they have strikers in form. Opta tell us that former PSG forward Kevin Gameiro has netted six goals in his last six home games, while Carlos Bacca has scored four goals in his last six appearances, including a brace against Real.
There are two reasons I’m willing to side with Porto. Firstly, Sevilla have put in tepid displays in two of their last three Europa League games, failing to score on both occasions. When the pressure was on against fierce rivals Real Betis at the Sanchez Pizjuan, they folded in a 2-0 home defeat. Although they managed to recover and progress, they were also pretty uninspiring last week.
The other factor is that I think Porto will score. The Dragons have scored at least once in ten of their last eleven matches,and they have netted in all five of their Europa League games. Sevilla have kept just six clean sheets in 24 home games, and if they concede just one goal to Porto, they’ll need to score three to progress. If Sevilla have to throw caution to the wind, Porto could make them pay on the counter, so I’m willing to back the visitors Draw No Bet at 3.2.
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