Both Porto and Zenit currently reside in first place in their respective domestic leagues – who will come out on top in Tuesday's European affair?
Check out our 2013-14 Champions League Betting Futures report!
Porto will be favored at the sportsbooks for this visit of
Zenit, with odds makers listing the Dragons at -150 or so to get all three
A Zenit win would reward backers handsomely, with soccer betting lines ranging from +400 to as high as +500. The draw can be found at
anywhere from +275 to +300.
The Dragons have enjoyed a wonderful start to their
Portuguese Liga campaign. They've gone unbeaten through seven matches, winning
seven and drawing one. That's left them atop the table, two points clear of
Before the break, Porto had overcome Arouca 3-1 away from
home, with Jackson Martinez netting a brace and Juan Quintero adding some
insurance in stoppage time.
This showdown with Zenit will be their first match action
since then, so it will be interesting to see how they come together after a two-week
So far in the competition, the Dragons have beaten Austria
Vienna away and fallen to Atletico Madrid 2-1 at home. Martinez scored the lone
goal for Porto in that defeat and will look to cause havoc again here on Tuesday.
The Colombian has been in lethal form, scoring seven times
in six Liga appearances. Can he make the difference in this Champions League
Zenit St. Petersburg
Zenit had some work to do to even reach the group stages of
the Champions League, having to start in the qualifying third round and then
advance through the play-off round as well.
The Russian outfit took care of business there, but have
found it much more difficult in the main competition. They lost 3-1 to Atletico
Madrid in their group stage opener and then were held to a 0-0 draw by Austria
Vienna at home.
That being said, Zenit has been a force to be reckoned with
in the Russian Premier League so far this season and that will give them some
needed confidence against Europe's best.
Through 12 league games, Zenit has nine wins, two draws, and
only one loss, with a goal differential of plus 20. They headed into the
international break with a 3-0 win over FC Tom Tomsk and are currently five
points clear of the rest of the competitors in the league.
With a fearsome tandem in Hulk and Danny, Zenit is always
going to be a threat to score. The pair has already scored 15 league goals
between them, so you have to think Porto boss Paulo Fonseca will have something
in mind to tame them. Axel Witsel and Andrey Arshavin are others to keep an eye
out on too.
Champions League Pick
Though the Portuguese are renowned for their wonderful
atmospheres, especially when it comes to European affairs, it's hard to ignore
Zenit's tremendous level of quality.
The Russian side has been spending a lot of money recently
and the rewards are starting to show – getting at least a point in this visit
of Porto would be a huge scalp for Zenit in the group stages, and they have the
match-winners to perhaps even sneak a victory.
Armed with quite a bit of experience, we are backing the
Russian side to come out with at least a draw in the face of a tough
atmosphere. Our recommendation for your soccer picks is a small wager on the
draw, which is nearing +300 at the sports betting shops.
Soccer Pick: FC Porto 1-Zenit St Petersburg 1, available at 6/1 odds at Bet365
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