Porto v Bayern Munich: Favourites to build from the back again

Bayern Munich's clean-sheet-keeping machine is in as good a condition as ever
Bayern Munich's clean-sheet-keeping machine is in as good a condition as ever
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Michael Lintorn expects Bayern Munich to keep a clean sheet in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Porto...

"Bayern Munich's away numbers are spectacular: one goal given up across seven road trips since the start of February."
Best Bet: Back Bayern Munich to keep a clean sheet @ 2.447/5

Porto v Bayern Munich
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 5

Match Odds: Porto 4.84/1, Bayern Munich 1.8910/11, The Draw 3.711/4

Pep Guardiola has never failed to coach a team to the Champions League semi-finals, boasting a five-from-five quarter-final success rate across his spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Their odds of 1.162/13 to qualify this time hint that Porto aren't being seen as a serious threat to his record.

The first leg isn't considered quite the formality, with Bayern not too far off the evens mark at 1.8910/11 to triumph.

There are three main triggers for the scepticism. One is an injury list that leaves them shorn of David Alaba, Medhi Benatia, Javi Martinez, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, six players who are at the very least locks for the matchday 18 when fit if not the starting side too.

Other causes for Porto optimism relate to the formbook. The hosts have won ten games in a row at their Estadio do Dragao and haven't lost a Champions League clash there for almost 18 months, winning four in six.

Bayern meanwhile have claimed just two victories in six on their Champions League travels and none in their most three knockout ties abroad.

However, there are convincing counterpoints to each argument in the case against:

Guardiola's squad were missing all six of their high-profile absentees in their previous Bundesliga match and four of them in the one before that: they won both. Porto haven't entertained a former winner this decade, undermining their home figures. Finally, the only two of Bayern's eight European fixtures this season that they didn't win were ones in which they were reduced to ten men.

For those reasons, this writer is more tempted to back Bayern at 1.8910/11 than lay, but there are even more appealing bets in some of the other markets...


Bayern Munich Clean Sheet

How do you cope without attacking artillery like Robben and Ribery? By being ridiculously efficient defensively - and this is a skill that Bayern already have mastered.

They have kept clean sheets in five of their last six encounters, and six in eight in the 2014/15 Champions League. Their sole leaks occurred while leading Roma 5-0 and after Benatia's sending off at Man City, so they never concede when it matters, provided there are no early bathers.

It is their away numbers that are most spectacular though: one goal given up across seven road trips since the start of February, shutting out the might of Shakhtar, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen in that period.


Over/under 2.5 goals

Having called Porto firing a blank, the next logical step is to take under 2.5 goals at 1.824/5. Bayern have scored two goals or fewer in six of their past seven Champions League away games, five of which paid out on the proposed bet.

Their most recent three knockout contests outside of the Allianz Arena tallied a mere three goals in total, and only one in their favour, while two of Porto's last three continental outings delivered under 2.5 goals.


Best Bet: Back Bayern Munich to keep a clean sheet @ 2.447/5
Other Recommended Bet: Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.824/5

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