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Antony Heath 21st Feb 2012 - 14:44

Man City Edin through

Manchester City v Porto - 17:00 - live on ESPN


Manchester City head in to this as favourites to win and even bigger favourites to qualify following last week's come-from-behind victory in Portugal. The defending champions are no mugs though and the Citizens won't be able to rest on their 2-1 aggregate lead.

Manchester City (4/6 to win, 1/16 to qualify) showed that they intend to take this competition seriously with the strength of the side Roberto Mancini picked in the Estadio Dragao as Nasri, Silva and Balotelli all started with Aguero coming off the bench to bag the winner on the night. They can be expected to roll out another strong side after a weekend off despite Coach David Platt saying there might be changes and look good value.

At the Etihad Stadium the hosts have been mightily impressive, but that was said about Porto last week, however Man City has the perfect chance to hand Porto their first two-legged defeat in this competition since 2001. Even if as suggested and they ring the changes City should just be too strong for Porto the likes of Edin Dzeko (9/2 First/Last, 6/5 Anytime), Mario Balotelli (4/1 First/Last, Evs Anytime), Samir Nasri (15/2 First/Last, 9/4 Anytime) and Adam Johnson (8/1 First/Last, 11/4 Anytime) should cause the Porto defence more problems than they can handle and Dzeko in particular looks a decent shout to be getting on the score sheet first.

Porto (9/2, Draw 5/2 and 7/1 to qualify) certainly have an uphill battle on their hands if they are to reach the last 16. They have plenty of European pedigree but this looks like a step to far for the Portuguese giants. Before the tie you would've thought if Porto were to qualify it would have been on the back of a strong home performance that they could then have defended at Eastlands. As they weren't able to get a result at home then you really do wonder whether they have enough to progress.

Porto did show that they were able to compete with City at least as they dominated the first half and got the opening goal through Silvestre Varela. (11/1 First/Last, 4/1 Anytime) If they are to stand any chance of winning they will need a big performance from Hulk (15/2 First/Last, 9/4 Anytime), the star striker is as good as any in Europe and the one player capable of really hurting City.

We have a Match Winner Special offering on the game of either team to come from behind and win the match, as Man City did in the first leg, at 6/1, enhanced from 9/2. If Porto can bag the first goal (a 19/10 chance) then there is a real possibility of this happening

With their home prowess Manchester City should run out comfortable winners, 2-0 (7/1) or 3-0 (11/1) seem like they most likely score lines with Edin Dzeko the pick of the first goal scorers at 9/2. On a stats front I would expect a few goals (under 2.5 @Evs, over 2.5 @8/11) and very little in the way of cards so keep on the side of the unders.


Top Bets

Man City -1 @ 8/5

Edin Dzeko anytime @ 6/5

Worth a Punt

Edin Dzeko first @ 9/2

Man City 3-0 @ 11/1


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