Diego Costa and his dodgy hamstring will be risked in Portugal tonight as Chelsea look for their first Champions League win in tonight’s Group G tie with Sporting Lisbon.
The Londoners top the Premier League and are unbeaten in all competitions this season, but fluffed their opening-game lines against Schalke who held them to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Lisbon are also unbeaten in their seven games in all tournaments and last season’s Primeira League runners up have some pretty damn impressive form at Estadio Jose Alvalde.
- Sporting are unbeaten in their last 16 European games at home (13 wins, 3 draws)
- Lisbon haven’t lost at home in all competitions since 2013.
With Manchester United reject Nani breaking the habit of a lifetime and scoring against Maribor in the last round, Chelsea look short enough at 4/5 despite having won their last six games against Portuguese opposition.
Sporting are 15/4 to win with Paddy Power over the 90 minutes but evens on Sporting Lisbon / draw in the double chance market looks the smarter play.
- Shoot over to all markets on Sporting Lisbon v Chelsea, 7.45pm
Ashley Cole returns to England as Roma look to end their Manchester hoodoo at Premier League champions City.
The Italians lost three times to City’s cross-city rivals United but five straight wins in Serie A (including beating Verona 2-0 at the weekend) and four clean sheets makes them tricky opponents for the Citizens who need to get something from the game.
Depending on your point of view, Manuel Pellegrini’s side were either unlucky to lose 1-0 to Bayern Munich a fortnight ago or lucky they didn’t get tanked about 4-0 such was the German champions’ dominance.
While City have started to rediscover some of their goal-scoring touch with 11 goals in their last two games (7-0 v Sheffield Wednesday and 4-2 at Hull), Roma hammered CSKA Moscow 5-1 in the Russian capital in their Group E opener.
The return of Edin Dzeko has boosted City’s firepower and he’s fired in four goals in his last two games. The Bosnian international is 9/2 to open the scoring against the Italians while Argentine Sergio Aguero – who’s netted four goals in six Premier League appearances is 4/1 to get the opener against the Italians.
City are the 8/13 favs in the win-draw-win market but with the 1-0 loss at home to Stoke proving their not invincible at home – the draw at 3/1 looks the value bet.