#Match of the week #Predictions

These are our two picks for the Barca-Porto group final!

Barca have put themselves in an awkward position with their troubles against Shakhtar, so now Xavi’s side must win against Porto.

Group stage action in the Champions League continues this week, with the teams playing round 5 this week. Although the big questions seem to be decided in several groups, there was some unexpected excitement in Group H after Barcelona’s shock defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in Hamburg in Round 4. Shakhtar, who had been forced to get rid of most of their legionnaires, looked like absolute underdogs against Barca, but still managed to turn the tables – the surprise factor was that the Ukrainian champions paid up to 10 times the price for their success – and put themselves in a very tight group.


With two rounds to go, Barca and Porto are 9-9 in the group, while Shakhtar are on 6 points. The former two will be playing each other in the Catalan capital, while the Donetsk side will be back in Hamburg, this time against Antwerp, who are zero points.

Team news

Barcelona dropped further points in La Liga at the weekend, leaving them at a growing disadvantage against their big rivals. Xavi’s side will need to be very wary in the final weeks of the year, with home games against Porto in the BL and league games against Atlético Madrid and Girona in the league potentially crucial.

Xavi is reportedly planning to lean back a little on his more experienced players, as the young and talented ones are not yet able to produce the level of performance needed to be effective on a sustained basis. The absence of Gavi and Ter Stegen ahead of Tuesday’s clash is a certainty, but Pedri, Christiensen, Torres and Inigo Martinez could also be left out of the starting line-up compared to the last game against Rayo, and Gündogan, Araujo, Koundé and Joao Félix could also come in.

For Porto, a draw would be a good result as they will host Shakhtar in the last round at Dragao, although the truth is that a defeat would leave their fate in their own hands. Porto will have two fresh absentees, with Wendell and Jaime struggling with injuries and Ivan Marcado sidelined all season. For the visitors, experts are expecting a solid 4-4-2 formation, but it could also be a 4-2-3-1 formation on the move, which didn’t work badly in the first leg between the two sides.

What is worth betting on?

Although Barca won the Porto clash 1-0, the game was one that Porto deserved at least a draw. Barca will face a tough 90 minutes against a young team hungry for success and with nothing to lose. The Catalans’ stumbles in recent weeks could have dented their confidence, and this, combined with the pressure, may not have a positive effect on their game.

The bookies are paying around 1.50 for a Barca win, which we would respectfully pass up, as we don’t feel H is a worthy bet at that price. However, we see fantasy in Porto’s AH, as we can get the +1.25 version above 1.70, which means we only lose our bet if Barca win by 2 goals or more, half our bet wins if they win by one goal at home, and we win the full stake of the bet if all other results are a winner.

There is a wide variation in the bookmakers’ offers and odds, so it’s worth checking out the card market, for example. The odds of 2.5 over Porto’s 2.5 penalty cards are hard to pass up, as the team’s style is a recipe for a lot of cards, and life is never easy for teams or referees against Barcelona away from home…

✅ Prediction #1: Porto +1.25 (Asian handicap) @1.74
✅ Prediction #2: Porto cards over 2.5 @2.05

Betting deadline: 28 November 21:00

These are our two picks for the Barca-Porto group final!

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