Leicester v Porto: Slimani to slay the Dragon once again

Islam Slimani will relish playing against his old rivals again
Islam Slimani will relish playing against his old rivals again
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Jamie Pacheco looks ahead to Porto's visit to Leicester City and expects goals aplenty...


"Both sides are stronger in attack than in defence and this could well be a pretty open and entertaining match. Which would suit us just fine."

Leicester v Porto
Tuesday September 27, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 2


Leicester

As if the Foxes needed any sort of reminder that things this season won't be the same as they were last year, it came in the form of a 4-1 humbling at Old Trafford. Against a Manchester United side supposedly suffering from a crisis, they got the goal predicted by this column but their defending, particularly from set pieces, will be of huge concern to Claudio Ranieri.

There was also a curious half-time double substitution that saw his two star men from last year - Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez - come off at the break. For all the chaos that happened in that first half, it showed the Italian maintains a cool head under pressure. Resting the pair with this match in mind was a clever and pragmatic move with the Saturday game done and dusted after 45 minutes.

Kasper Schmeichel should be fit for this one and after Saturday, that will be a big boost. Only Nampalys Mendy is absent through injury.


Porto

It's been a mixed season for Porto under new coach Nuno Espirito Santo. A 4-1 aggregate win over Roma in the Champions League play-off suggests it was a walk in the park but the scoreline doesn't begin to tell the full story. Roma had three men sent off across the two legs and were in control of the first leg, leading 1-0 in Porto when Tomas Vermaelen was given his marching orders after just half an hour.

In the league, 13 points from six matches is about par for the course, especially when you consider they've already travelled to Sporting Lisbon, where they lost 2-1.

They got off to a poor start in the Champions League though, drawing 1-1 at home to FC Copenhagen.

Fiery right-back Maxi Pereira is back in the squad after an injury picked up against Roma a few weeks ago. Look out for veteran keeper Iker Casillas in goal, tricky Algerian winger Yacine Brahimi and 20 year-old Portuguese striker Andre Silva, who scored twice on Friday night in a 3-1 win over Boavista.


Match Odds

We have a strange scenario here where Porto are Champions League veterans (let's not forget they won it in 2004 under Jose Mourinho) and Leicester are debutants but it's the latter who seem to have the stronger side.

The Dragons have a horrendous record on English soil, not having won in their last 16 attempts on these shores. Much will probably depend on whether Leicester channel their frustration from Saturday's events in a positive way or go into the match edgy and low on confidence.

Despite an impressive 3-0 win on Match Day 1, Leicester look just a tad short at 2.3211/8 given how little experience they have of big nights against non-English opposition. The draw at 3.412/5 doesn't look a bad price.


Over/Under 2.5 Goals

The price on Over 2.5 Goals looks a decent one at 2.26/5. Five of Porto's nine matches this season have had at least three goals whereas for Leicester it's seven from nine that have gone Overs. For those reasons alone, you'd have expected Unders to be the outsider.

Both sides are stronger in attack than in defence and this could well be a pretty open and entertaining match. Which would suit us just fine.


To Score

I'm not entirely sure what Islam Slimani had against FC Porto, other than the obvious, which is that they were one of the big rivals of his former club Sporting Lisbon. Whatever it was, he saved his best for them because he managed a remarkable five goals against them in his last three appearances, including scoring the winner against them in his last-ever match for Sporting before his move to Leicester in early September. No wonder they called him the 'Dragon Slayer' over in Portugal.

He'll enjoy this chance to add to his tally and with three matches for the Foxes under his belt now, we may start to see the best of this powerful and quick forward with excellent heading ability and sharp all-round finishing skills.

He's a good bet to help slay the Dragons once again at around 3.39/4.

Andre Silva is worth keeping an eye on in this market, too. He's almost certain to start and will be on penalty duty. If Leicester's defence is as generous as they were on Saturday, he could cash in. And you could cash in, too. He should be around 3.814/5 to score at any time.


Ref Watch

Few referees in world football show as many cards as the infamous Cuneyt Cakir from Turkey. This season he's shown 11 yellows and one red in two matches and last year it was 10 reds and 153 yellows in 36 matches at an average of 4.25 yellows a match.


Recommended Bets

1pt Back Over 2.5 goals @ 2.26/5
1pt Back Islam Slimani to score any time @ 3.39/4


Jamie's 2016/17 Premier League P/L

Staked: 10pts
Returned: 12.22pts
P/L: +2.2pts

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