by Ian S. Palmer
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Reigning English Premier League champions Chelsea will be battling it out with FC Porto of Portugal at Stamford Bridge in London this Wednesday, December 9 to decide the top two spots in Group G if the European Champions League. Chelsea can clinch the group with a win, but could fall down to third place with a loss. There’s a three-way fight in the group for the top two positions as Dynamo Kyiv of Ukraine also still has a chance of advancing to the round-of-16 stage. Chelsea is in the driver’s seat at the moment though and has won all five of their previous home encounters against Portuguese opposition. However, they were beaten 2-1 in Porto back on September 29 in their first group meeting.
Chelsea vs FC Porto – bet365 Soccer BETTING LINE:
- bet365 lists Chelsea as the current favorites at 21/10 with Porto 11/4 and a draw at 12/5
Chelsea enters the match as the group leaders with 10 points from three wins, a draw and a loss. They’ve scored 11 goals and allowed just three against up to now. Porto also has the same record for 10 points, but have just nine goals for and six against. Dynamo Kyiv is in third position with eight points from two wins, two draws and a loss and has scored seven goals while conceding four. Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel occupies the basement with no points and has no chance of advancing to the next round. To simplify things, whoever wins the Chelsea vs Porto clash will win the group. If the game ends in a draw and Dynamo Kyiv doesn’t win against Maccabi then Porto will win the group. If Dynamo wins and Chelsea draws with Porto then Dynamo takes the group with Chelsea finishing second.
Chelsea and Porto have met seven times in the past with Chelsea winning four, losing two and drawing the other game. Chelsea is playing in their 14th Champions League campaign and have won both of their home games this season against Maccabi and Dynamo. The team has won their group nine out of its last 12 season and were runners up twice. The English side has done well against Portuguese opposition over the years with nine wins, a draw and two defeats. They won the 2013 Europa League by beating Benfica 2-1 in Amsterdam. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho of Portugal guided Porto to the Champions League title in 2004 and led Inter Milan of Italy to the crown in 2010. He’s attempting to become the first manager to win the cup with three different clubs.
Porto is competing in their 20th Champions League season and has a win and draw in their two away fixtures this season. They enter the game in London with just three defeats in their past 14 road trips in European competition with five wins and six draws. The squad went unbeaten on the road last season with a pair of wins and a draw. Their last series against an English team took place in the 2011/12 Europa League and they were beaten 6-1 on aggregate to Manchester City. Overall, Porto has played 31 times against English squads and has seven victories, eight draws and 16 defeats. They haven’t won an away game though with a pair of draws and 13 losses so far in England.
Chelsea was beaten 1-0 at home by newly-promoted Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday after keeping three straight clean sheets before the loss. They may be without key defender and captain John Terry for the game on Wednesday due to injury. Striker Radamel Falcao and midfielder Ramires are questionable for Chelsea while Maicon is doubtful for the Portuguese side. Porto’s 2-0 defeat to Dynamo Kyiv on matchday five was the club’s first loss in 21 outings since losing to Bayern Munich in last year’s quarterfinal stage of the Champions League. Porto’s last league outing was a 2-1 home win against FC Pacos de Ferreira on the weekend.