Champions League Thursday Tips & Betting Preview

United's first-leg deficit and injury list leaves them with little hope in Paris while Roma's slender first-leg lead leaves this one tantalisingly poised.

Ryan Elliott
 | 
Tue, 5 Mar, 2:09 PM

2-0 down after the first leg and with a sick bay packed to the rafters, it’s hard to see how Manchester United can turn around their Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain.

United have maintained their fine Premier League form in spite of their injuries, but as has already been proven, beating Crystal Palace and Southampton and beating PSG are rather different prospects.

The Parisians have been their usual dominant selves in Ligue 1, and it’s hard to see them slipping-up against such a depleted United side on Wednesday (although we said that when the travelled to the Nou Camp a few years ago…).

My first tip is for both teams to score. PSG have kept just one clean sheet in the Champions League this season (that coming at Old Trafford) and with six away wins on the spin heading into this, there’s a strong argument for United being better away from home under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.  

Next, I’m backing Kylian Mbappe to score first.

This one shouldn’t need too much explanation. Mbappe has scored PSG’s last four goals, and with Edinson Cavani and Neymar ruled out for this second-leg tie, the Frenchman will once again be their primary focal point.

In a side full of superstars, Mbappe still looks head and shoulders above the rest at times.

Porto v Roma

A 2-1 home win is the perfect first-leg result for the neutral – a result which keeps things absolutely in the balance for the return fixture. Roma takes such a lead to Portugal on Wednesday, but will it be enough?

Porto lost their first home game since August over the weekend – a devastating 2-1 defeat against title rivals Benfica – while Roma was thrashed 3-0 at Lazio.

Neither manager will construe Saturday’s results as adequate preparation for this huge second-leg, but it’s the hosts who I ultimately see progressing, and this ties into my best bet: Porto to win (after 90 minutes) and both teams to score.

Roma’s away form, in general, has been fairly ropey: the Giallorossi have won just four of their last 13, and the only joy they’ve had on the road in Europe this season was against a ten-man CSKA Moscow side.

The Benfica defeat aside, Porto have been outstanding at Estádio do Dragão – winning all three of their Champions League matches there – and I’m confident they beat Roma on the night.

For the BTTS aspect of this tip, Porto has scored in every single home game this season, while Roma has netted 11 times in their last five away games.

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