Barcelona take on the visitors Porto in the round 5 match of UEFA Champions League group stage. The match will be played on Tuesday, November 28th at Estadio Olímpico (Barcelona).
In the previous round, Barcelona could have secured their place in the Champions League knockout stage, where they haven't been for several years. However, the Catalans sensationally lost to Shakhtar (0-1). Before that, they had defeated the Ukrainians at home (2-1). What was common in both of these matches? Right, the Under 3.5 goals (U3.5) bet was successful in both. This bet also played without any issues in the first match between Porto and Barcelona. At that time, under Xavi's guidance, Barcelona looked better on the opponent's field and deservedly won (1-0). As you can see, Barcelona's international matches are rarely high-scoring. The home game against Antwerp was an exception, but even then, the Blaugrana scored at most three goals, not five. They just scored almost everything, and based on xG, Barcelona only scored 2.64 goals.
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While Barcelona played Under 2.5 goals (U2.5) three times in four Champions League group stage matches, Porto did it twice, both times on their home turf. Outside of Portugal, Sergio Conceicao's team can struggle defensively and allow opponents to attack while playing aggressively. This resulted in two high-scoring matches - against Antwerp (4-1) and Shakhtar (3-1). However, at home, the Dragons do not forget about defense and discipline. The result was a clean victory over the Belgians (2-0). Despite playing with an extra man for 40 minutes, Antwerp only scored two goals against Porto. The creation and conversion of chances for the Dragons also didn't go smoothly. Regarding the match against Barcelona, it was discussed above. I'll just add that based on xG, the two teams played for a total of 1.5 goals.
Oddly enough, bookmakers are confident in an abundance of accurate shots in this meeting. I doubt it, considering how both teams played in the current Champions League group stage. Naturally, Barcelona are the favorite in the home match, and Xavi will not allow a second setback in a row. With all due respect to Porto, it is unlikely that Conceicao's team will prevail over today's Catalans on foreign soil. The first part of my bet is 1X. The second part is the total Under 3.5 goals (U3.5), which was successful in two out of four matches involving visitors and in three out of four matches involving hosts in the tournament. After the fourth round of the Champions League group stage, Barcelona played two matches in La Liga, both ending with Under 3.5 goals: a victory over Alaves (2-1) and a draw with Rayo Vallecano (1-1). Porto also played twice in national tournaments, winning the cup match against lower-division opponents (a high-scoring game excluded), and securing a league victory over Vitoria Guimaraes (2-1) through Under 3.5 goals. At stake is the qualification for the knockout stage of the main European club football competition. Spaniards and Portuguese won't recklessly attack in this crucial face-off for both sides.
Prediction for the match: Under 2.5 scored goals.