Chelsea vs. Porto UEFA Champions League Pick – April 13

While it has certainly been a roller coaster of a season for Chelsea, the Champions League has been one competition in which they’re fared quite well. Last week was further evidence of that, as the Blues secured a comfortable victory over Porto in leg one of their quarter-final clash.

Being up 2-0 surely has to make Thomas Tuchel feel secure for Chelsea heading into the final leg. Chelsea will be set-up as the ‘home’ side on Tuesday afternoon, as due to pandemic travel restrictions – both matches have been played in neutral Spain.

Porto will undoubtedly be the desperate squad heading into this clash, knowing they’ll need to put up a few coveted away goals to try and overturn this result. It surely will not be an easy task given how structured and rigid Chelsea have been without the ball since Tuchel’s appointment.

With both sides securing comfortable wins in their domestic leagues over the weekend, and allowing some key pieces to receive extra rest in the process – expect a very attack-oriented approach to follow through with Tuesday’s match. It should provide for some excitement between the teams. Can Chelsea continue their controlled dominance? Or will the Portuguese giants be able to pull off a shocker with a big victory of their own? For answers, and analysis, continue reading on beneath the posted odds for our take on this quarter-final battle.

Chelsea vs. Porto Betting Odds:

Chelsea (-115)
Porto (+330)
Draw (+280)

Over 2.5 (-110)
Under 2.5 (-110)

*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag

Chelsea vs. Porto Pick:

While Porto enter the more desperate side, seeking quick goals in Tuesday afternoon’s showdown – it won’t be easy against a Chelsea group that really doesn’t concede all that much. The Blues enter with no new injury concerns, and expect manager Tuchel to go with a mostly unchanged side against Porto. If anything, there will likely be an emphasis on defensive football and tackling ability.

CHELSEA’S SUFFOCATING STRUCTURE
Chelsea will likely lineup again in their familiar 3-4-2-1 formation. Their three-man backline has been excellent in recent weeks, and they’ll receive regular support from the wide midfielders in Ben Chilwell and Reece James – both of whom possess excellent defensive and tackling abilities. Up top, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount are two of the most in-form midfielders in English soccer right now – while the physical attributes of Kai Havertz make him a likely bet for selection as the lone striker.

While the Blues may not push hard for offense, the capability is certainly there. They possess both the talent and skill to catch teams like Porto out on the break, and if the Portuguese club gets too greedy in their attack, Chelsea definitely could put them away early on Tuesday.

Porto will respond with an attack-minded approach, and will be happy to hear they do have some pieces returning to the fold. Mehdi Taremi and Sergio Oliveira will return to the starting lineup, and that should be a big boost to their fading attack.

They’ll go with a 4-4-2 formation, likely regularly activating their wide players to apply all kinds of pressure to Chelsea’s three-man backline. And really, for Porto to be successful they’re going to need to take chances going forward. Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in seven of their past nine Champions League contests, and Porto hasn’t proven they can score against elite opposition.

When Porto pushes forward, and commits big numbers in attack – that’s when Chelsea could be best set-up to strike on the counter and do some damage. Mount and Pulisic are as quick on the ball as any attacker in the sport, and should be able to counter with a purpose against a weak Porto defense. Kai Havertz is finally showing the sparkle that made him such a coveted signing from the Bundesliga, and that should continue on Tuesday. Porto will make a push, but Chelsea’s structure will break them down eventually, en route to another comfortable victory and a spot in the semi-finals.

My Pick
Chelsea
Will S. / Author

Will has been working with The Sports Geek since its early days back in 2010. He began as a soccer specialist, focusing on detailed reports for major international competitions, including the World Cup and European Championships. Since then, he has produced weekly pick articles on both the NFL and English Premier League, while also contributing blog posts on the NHL, MLB, and even WWE wrestling. Will is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy player, always eager to share his thoughts and insight on anything going on in the world of sports.

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