Porto vs Manchester City – Preview Europa League

by Punter's Hero on February 16, 2012

in Football, Latest News

The Europa League swings back into action on Feb. 16 with the Porto vs Manchester City game being one of the most intriguing at the Estadio do Dragao, in Porto, Portugal. Man City had hoped on impressing fans in the Champions League this season, but they didn’t make it past the group stage, neither did Porto, the two-time UEFA Cup winners. Therefore, Porto will have the chance of defending last year’s Europa League Championship.

Both teams are doing well in their respective leagues though, with City leading the English Premier League by two points over cross-town rivals Manchester United and Porto in second place in the Portuguese League, just five behind leaders Benfica.

Manchester City manager will have striker Mario Balotelli back in the line-up after serving a four-game suspension for stamping on the head of Tottenham Hotspur’s Scott Parker in an EPL game. The Italian has been nothing but trouble this season for his manager and teammates as he also served a one-game ban in the EPL as well as a three-match European suspension. Mancini said he spoke to Balotelli and told him to settle down.

Mancini will also have Yaya and Kolo Toure back in the squad after the brothers missed the past eight games while they were playing in the African Nations Cup with Ivory Coast. Both of the Toures met up with their City teammates in Porto, but it’s unclear if they’ll be included in the squad for the game.

There have also been rumours that Carlos Tevez is attempting to get back into the team and has returned to England from Argentina. Nobody would pay the ridiculous price for Tevez in the January transfer window, so now he has nowhere else to play other than City. Even if Mancini does take him back, which he shouldn’t he’ll be weeks away from playing a game.

Porto manager Vitor Pereira will be without newcomer Marc Janko since he’s cup tied after playing with FC Twente already in the Europa League this season. However, Pereira believes even without Janko his club should be strong enough to be successful against City. He said he knows City is a great team, but he’s not going to worry about them. He’s going to concentrate on his club’s strengths and will let City worry about Porto. Porto may be without Kleber as well as Emidio Rafael, who’s injured.

This is the first European competition meeting between the two sides. City has played a Portuguese just once before when they beat Academica de Coimbra 1-0 in extra time back in 1969/70 at the quarterfinal stage of the Cup Winners Cup. Porto hasn’t lost at home all season and has won 10 of their 13 matches at Estadio do Dragao. Porto has won three, drawn one and lost one in their past five games while City has the same record.

Porto v Man City Betting Predictions

This should be a fairly entertaining game as well as a close one. A draw would suit City and that’s what we could see.

PaddyPower has the odds of a Porto win at 6/4 and a Man City victory at 9/5 with a draw at 23/10. Click the banner for some nice free bets.

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