It’s now time for the second leg of the Europa League round of 32. Bayer Leverkusen did a solid job in the first leg to beat FC Porto by 1-2 at home. The match-up is now reversed, with FC Porto playing host on Thursday. They scored an away goal in the first leg and that could really help them in qualifying from this tie.
Date/Time: 2-27-2020, 12:55 EST
Spread: FC Porto -0.25
Total: 3 Goals
FC Porto were not that bad in the first leg in Germany, but they went down by two goals. They did manage to score a late goal to eventually lose by 1-2. That means that they can progress to the next round even with a slim 0-1 win at home on Thursday. FC Porto have been in tremendous shape lately, with that loss being their only one in their last eight matches in all competitions (6-1-1). But they kept just three clean sheets in that span. They have also been great at home in the Europa League, losing just two of their last 12 matches (8-2-2). Moreover, they often score first half goals, with ten in their last three home matches.
On the other hand, Bayer Leverkusen were slightly better in the first leg. But they got complacent in the late stages of the match and conceded a goal that could turn out to be disastrous. The Germans have been in terrific shape lately, winning nine of their last ten matches in all competitions. But they kept just three clean sheets in the process. And seven of their last eight matches featured Over 2.5 Goals. Sadly, Bayer Leverkusen will be without their best forward, Volland, who just suffered a bad injury. Scoring first could go a long way for Leverkusen, as every European match they’ve played this season was won by whoever scored first (W3 L4).
FC Porto have been excellent at home so far in the season, winning 17 of their 20 matches in all competitions. And they even scored at least once in the three games they didn’t win. Bayer Leverkusen will be a bit thin up front following the injury to Volland. They do have a ton of quality in the midfield, but that might cost them. Going with the Under 3 Goals here, as I expect a really careful match between the two.
Europa League FC Porto vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction: Under 3 Goals (-121)
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