Porto v Man City: draw best Mancini can hope for in Portugal

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Manchester City face the sternest of tests as they seek to become the first team this season to beat holders Porto at the Estadio do Dragao, but at 11/5, Roberto Mancini’s side are good value to return to Eastlands with the tie all square.

Porto are a formidable outfit in front of their own fans, where they are unbeaten since Seville claimed a 1-0 win there in February last year.

The Portuguese champions have won ten and drawn three at home this term, and conceded just a miserly eight goals in the process. They currently lie second in Portugal’s top flight, five points behind leaders Benfica.

They also come with impressive European pedigree, having twice won this competition in the last decade, as well as the Champions League in 2004.

Porto saw off domestic rivals Braga in last summer’s final and are unlikely to relinquish their crown without an almighty fight.

Manchester City meanwhile are not the best of travellers in Europe, having lost two of their three Champions League games away from Eastlands.

Roberto Mancini’s side left both Munich and Napoli empty handed, but won 3-0 at group whipping boys Villarreal.

Returning to Eastlands with a score draw would represent a good night’s work for City, so you can expect a cagey affair if Mancini has his way.

But, they will have their work cut out just to score against Porto, who have kept nine clean sheets in their last 14 outings in all competitions.

With that in mind, the home side are available at a generous 9/1 to win 1-0, while a goalless draw is 8/1.

As for first goal scorer, Hulk will attract plenty of interest at 11/2. The Brazilian striker has 11 goals to his name this season, four of which he scored in European competition.

For City, Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli dominate the market, and rightly so, but don’t discount Yaya Toure, should the Ivorian international return to action.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.