ESTRELA DA AMADORA - PORTO
We opposed Estrela recently and they were comprehensively beaten at home by Sporting. Things have got a lot worse for them since, they have scored just once in four starts (in the aforementioned defeat) and collected only the single point. They are Superliga's lowest scorers with just six goals all season. The club has huge financial problems and the President has continuously failed to keep promises to pay players and other staff. It is clear morale is very low and they are not a team you should even consider backing at present.
Porto got off to a sluggish start, especially by their normal standards, but are in fantastic form at present, they have won their last six in all competitions, scoring two or more in each, away from home,they are unbeaten in five, with four wins. They currently sit five points adrift of leaders Benfica, with this "game in hand", they will be ultra keen to get the three points and reduce that deficit to just two, with the three teams above them in the table, all playing home games at the weekend. Away win.
7 points Porto -1 ball asian line 1.80..... NOW 1.71
PORTSMOUTH - HEERENVEEN
The "Fire Sale" at Pompey has begun and they have this morning accepted an offer from Real Madrid for Lassana Diarra. Finances at the club are in a terrible state and I doubt that any offers will be refused, once the window opens. They are currently eighth in the table, yet only five points above the relegation zone, they look defensively fragile, have only beaten Sunderland and Blackburn in 13 starts and we have already seen at Blackburn, the danger of having an inexperienced Premier League manager at the helm. We could take a small bet on them to be relegated, currently 13.0 and I am sure that we will be able to earn a little from that, in the coming weeks.
Nothing to play for today, both teams have been eliminated and will be more interested in the league matches ahead. Both are also incapable of keeping a clean sheet and Heerenveen are probably the most attack minded side in Europe ! Their 15 league starts have averaged 4.2 goals and all UEFA group games have been "over", as have Portsmouth's and 7 of their last nine in all competitions. Expect to see a lot of fringe players and some goals.
6 points "over" 2.5 goals 1.76 exchanges..... NOW 1.71
4 points Portsmouth to be relegated 13.0 Ladbrokes / Sporting Bet / Extrabet/ Betdaq ........ 11.0 + is acceptable....been well backed, now 9.0 with most companies
CLUB BRUGGE - FC KOPENHAVN
Hosts are through with a draw or better, FCK only with a win. Brugge come here on the back of several very disappointing performances and have conceded six in their last two league starts, including four at home to Standard over the weekend. That has seen them slip to third in the table, behind Liege on goal difference and four points adrift of Anderlecht, both of whom have home games at the weekend, whilst CB make the tough trip to Excelsior. It is hard not to see them giving that priority, although I assume that they would like to remain in Europe.
FCK have performed much better on the road this season and are unbeaten in four away UEFA Cup starts, including a very unlucky draw at Valencia. Their domestic season entered the Winter Break earlier this month, so they do not have any league game until March, therefore, although there is always the danger that they could be mentally "on holiday", we cannot expect them to give less that their best and that best, IMO, is at least the equal of the Belgium side. I have to take them getting a handicap start, especially as Brugge would snatch your hand off if offered a draw.
6 points FCK +1/4 ball 1.95 asian line.... NOW 1.88