The opening day of the Champions League is upon us and I can’t say i’m not excited. There is nothing better than watching the best teams in Europe locking horns. The bookies seem to have priced most of these matches very well, however a couple of matches are presenting me with a enough value to jump on.
Austria Vienna vs Porto
BET: Porto -1 Asian handicap 1.800 bet365
Porto are a team that I follow quite closely. Every summer they lose one or two of their best players which has to happen for them to balance the books. They have an exceptional scouting network though which always seems to unearth a few hidden gems. This summer they lost star play maker Joao Moutiniho, but have recruited well in midfielders Juan Quintero and Hector Herrera.
Porto have won 16 of their last 17 matches in all competitions. 13 of those matches have been won by 2 or more goals. Having played 4 league matches this season they have won all 4, 3 of which they have covered the handicap suggested.
Austria Vienna have started the season poorly for a team that lifted their domestic trophy last season. After 8 matches they have won 3, drawn 3 and lost 2 in what must be looked upon as a weak European league. In the last 3 matches they have played the record shows 0 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses.
Vienna only scraped through to the group stages with a 4-3 aggregate win against Dinamo Zagreb with an 84th minute winner. To put this into contrast Porto beat the same team 2-0 away from home and 3-0 at home in the group stages last season.
Victoria Plzen vs Man City
BET: Man City win 8/11 bet365
Manchester City have not fared amazingly well in the champions league in their two previous campaigns. I have no doubt that this had a big impact on the boards decision to relieve Roberto Mancini of his position. He did very well in bringing an FA cup and a league championship to the blue half of Manchester, but as seen with Roman Abramovich at Chelsea the holy grail will always be the champions league.
Plzen are back in the competition after last appearing in the 2011 campaign. Last time they competed they were taught a serious footballing lesson by AC Milan and Barcelona both home and away. They picked up a win and a draw from Bate Borisov, but picking up points against the Belorussians is nothing to shout about. Their league form has been good winning 6 and drawing 2, but again it is a sub standard European league. You won’t find a team with an Aguero, Toure or a David Silva to name but a few of Citys finest.
Plzens manager Pavel Vrba has been quoted as saying “I would be satisfied to get 4 or 5 points”(from the group) hardly inspiring for his players.
City captain Vincent Kompany is back in training, and they are hopeful of having him back for this match, which would be a massive boost for the side.
In Manuel Pellegrini they have brought in a proven champions league manager, and I really feel that his remit from the board is to reach the quarter/semi finals minimum whilst competing for the title.