I did signal the potential ability to keep a clean sheet v top 6 for Sheffield Wednesday and they managed that, and how, yesterday with a 2-0 win v 3rd. An easy win for Cardiff yesterday. Kilmarnock's match swung on a red card when Dundee led at 1-2. I hope you laid Dundee when 1-2 up and down to 10 men? 3-2 it ended Kilmarnock.
Man City I keep under-estimating. Well done Tottenham too in keeping tabs on Juventus. If they can score 2 goals against that defence, then the home leg will see them full of confidence. On to today and for me, Liverpool should oblige over 2 legs against a Porto side from a league lacking the competition of the English Premier League. The market has signalled that it cannot read this match.
Real Madrid are having their worst season domestically for a long time but at home in the Champions League they have only one loss since 2011. Superb form. Real Madrid are scoring and conceding and it would be a surprise for me were they to pull off a win to nil tonight.
19:45 - Porto v Liverpool - 2.4 Liverpool
- 2.4 odds for Liverpool and 2.5 odds for Real Madrid suggests 2 puzzlers this evening. Add to that the fact that these are first-of-two-legs matches and the difficulty in finding any 'angles of attack ' increases. The best I can do is to look at recent Champions League form to determine any patterns, albeit we are jumping from group stages to 2 -match knock out.
- Recent form all competitions home and away - top of the league and no defeat since a Champions League match on 17th October 2017; 5 clean sheets in 6 matches.
- recent form at home - 13 wins and 2 0-0's since another Champions League defeat on 13th September 2017.
- Champions League form home and away - 2017 wins over Monaco twice and Leipzig.Losses v Juventus, Besiktas and Leipzig.
- Champions League form at home - 2017 losses to Juventus and Besiktas were followed by wins v Leipzig and Monaco 3-1 and 5-2. Note those goal concessions.
- Recent form all competitions home and away - only 2 losses since 28th October 2017 were v Swansea and West Brom in the league and F.A. Cup; scored 2 goals in 11 of their last 12 matches.
- Recent form away -only 2 losses in 15 matches; 2 consecutive clean sheets to bring into today's contest.
- Champions League form home and away - solid since 2014 - unbeaten; scored 2+ goals in all bar 2 matches; I must say it was an easy group stage though so that form may be unreliable.
- Champions League form away - scored and conceded in 4 of their last 5 matches; 2-2-1-7-3 goals scored; an excellent 2017 campaign but again we question the toughness of the group stage.
- Porto are having a great time of it at home but their league lacks competitiveness. Liverpool I would fancy over the 2 legs but having scored and conceded in 4 of their last 5 aways in the Champions League, they may have to get the 3 Musketeers, Firmino, Sane and Salah, to out score their opponents. Tottenham showed last night that you don't have to win the first leg if away from home, just ensure you are within striking distance for the home leg.
- The Porto losses to Besiktas and Leipzig especially should give Liverpool heart over these 2 legs.Liverpool have shown they have 2+ goals in them and that would not surprise today.
- I would certainly lay Porto if Porto lead in this match.
19:45 - Real Madrid v Paris St-Germain - 2.5 Real Madrid
- Recent form all competitions home and away - only 5 wins in 11 matches and Zidane, as manager, still has a job! Previous managers have been sacked for a lot less; a worrying lack of goals from Ronaldo this season; scored and conceded in 7 of their last 9 matches.
- Recent form at home - only 2 wins in 6 matches is a relative disaster for a club like this; scored and conceded in 4 of their last 5 matches.
- Champions League form home and away - only losses this 2017 campaign came against Atl Madrid and Tottenham. The latter are known for their attacking prowess.
- Champions League form at home - there is no doubting the home record; only 1 loss in the Champions League since September 2011.
Paris St Germain
- Recent form all competitions home and away - 14 wins in 15 matches.
- Recent form away -9 wins in their last 10 matches.
- Champions League form home and away - only losses this campaign v Barcelona and Bayern Munich away from home. A fairly easy group with Anderlecht and Celtic.
- Champions League form away - a bit more vulnerable away; lost 1-0 to Real Madrid 2015; recently as well as those 2 defeats above, a 2-2 v Arsenal.
- Yesterday's 2 matches were tough to read and get any angles into and so are today's. There is no doubting that this is a very poor season domestically for Real Madrid who are back to being unable to consistently keep a clean sheet.
- PSG team news important. Cavani, their top scorer, was out of action last weekend with a hip injury. If he is back, with Neymar up front, this could spell trouble for Real Madrid.....but then Real Madrid's home record is quite compelling in this competition.....but Real recently have had some very poor home form, albeit domestically.
- My gut tells me this is PSG's match to lose. They look not to have suffered the wobbles that Real Madrid have done of late.