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Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team highlight their best Saturday bets, with Matt Brocklebank waiting until the evening card at Kempton and George Pitts looking at Euro 2020 qualifiers.

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Free Champions League betting preview: Tips for PSG v Manchester United and FC Porto v AS Roma last 16 clashes

Sporting Life's Champions League preview package
Sporting Life's Champions League preview package

A number of absentees means George Pitts cannot see Man United getting a result at PSG, while he expects Roma to continue to struggle on the road in the last 16 second legs.


Recommended bets

1pt PSG to be leading at half-time v Man United at 21/20

0.5pt Christopher Nkunku to score anytime for PSG against Man United at 7/2

1pt Porto to win and under 3.5 total goals at 2/1

For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United (BT Sport 2, 2000 GMT kick-off)

Current aggregate score: 2-0 to PSG

Paris Saint-Germain's French defender Presnel Kimpembe grabbed the first goal of the game
Paris Saint-Germain's French defender Presnel Kimpembe grabbed the first goal of the game

There was an initial feeling that, with nothing to lose, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United could come out fighting and potentially get something from this game.

But after seeing their travelling squad and the list of absentees, it is difficult to see PSG struggling on their way to the last eight.

Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Alexis Sanchez are among the injured players missing from Solskjaer's squad, while key man Paul Pogba is suspended after his late sending off in the first leg - more information on squad availability here.

A potential midfield of Scott McTominay, Fred, Diogo Dalot and Andreas Pereira fails to inspire when you see the hosts lining up with the likes of Marquinhos, Marco Verratti, Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler.

The fact Ligue 1 champions PSG go into the match with a two-goal lead, valuable away strikes, means they may have less impetus than an ordinary Champions League last-16 second leg, but that is not to say they cannot get an early goal and see out the rest of the tie at a canter at least.

They are on a seven-match winning run in all competitions and can burst out of the blocks to take a first half lead against an under-strength Red Devils side, and the 21/20 available on them to be ahead at the interval is particularly appealing.

Christopher Nkunku has been in good form for PSG
Christopher Nkunku has been in good form for PSG

Neymar is still injured and Edinson Cavani is unlikely to start, so Kylian Mbappe will lead the line and the French star is odds-on to score, so it is best looking elsewhere for value.

The more interesting price is on 21-year-old winger Christopher Nkunku, strongly linked with a loan move to former boss Unai Emery's Arsenal in January, to score anytime at 7/2.

He has not featured in the Champions League since his substitute appearance against Barcelona in 2017, but he is getting a good run under Thomas Tuchel and could start on the right-hand side at Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

The French youth international has had 12 shots in his last four Ligue 1 appearances, scoring twice and assisting a goal, and he possesses a real threat to United's defence, which could be exposed with that unconvincing United midfield.

Backing Nkunku to score anytime is worth a small play should he start the clash, with the hosts expected to create plenty of chances on the break and late runs into the box can be the undoing of the Red Devils. Nkunku could be key to that.

Score prediction: PSG 2-0 Man United (Sky Bet odds: )

Best bets

PSG to be leading at half-time at 21/20

Christopher Nkunku to score anytime at 7/2

Opta stats

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
  • No club has ever progressed to the next round of the Champions League after losing the first leg of a knockout match at home by two or more goals (34 previous cases).
  • Paris Saint-Germain have lost just one of their last 16 Champions League games at home (W10 D5), but that defeat came in the Round of 16 last season against Real Madrid (1-2).
  • None of the last six English sides to face Paris SG at the Parc des Princes have won. In fact, the only English team to prevail away from home versus PSG were José Mourinho’s Chelsea in September 2004 (3-0).
  • Four of the last five two-legged encounters between teams from England and France in the Champions League knockout phase have seen the French side progress.
  • PSG have scored 35 goals in their last 10 Champions League home games but haven’t kept a clean sheet in each of the last five.
  • Manchester United have won only one of their last 10 Champions League knockout games (D3 L6), with this coming against Olympiakos in March 2014 (3-0 at Old Trafford). Their last away win in the knockout stages came eight years ago against Schalke (2-0), in April 2011.
  • Manchester United have lost their last two Champions League matches (1-2 away in Valencia in the final group stage match, 0-2 defeat to PSG in the first leg of this tie). They haven’t lost three games in succession in the competition since March 2005.
  • The heaviest margin of defeat that Manchester United have suffered over a two-legged European tie is by three goals; in the 1957/58 European Cup semi-final versus AC Milan (2-5 on aggregate) and in the 1991/92 Cup Winners’ Cup Round of 16 against Atlético Madrid (1-4 on aggregate).
  • Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé has found the net in six of his seven Champions League appearances against British clubs (6 goals in total). He has scored 14 goals in the Champions League; two more than any other player has netted as an under-21 player in the history of the competition (Karim Benzema is the next best with 12 goals).
  • Marcus Rashford has scored only one goal in his last nine Champions League games (6 starts), that came in Manchester Utd’s last away match against Valencia in December. He was the only Manchester Utd player to register a shot on target in the first leg against Paris SG.

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Sporting Life - the number one website for the Cheltenham Festival


Porto v Roma (BT Sport 3, 2000 GMT kick-off)

Current aggregate score: 2-1 to Roma

Adrian Lopez pulled a goal back for Porto against Roma
Adrian Lopez pulled a goal back for Porto against Roma

What an achievement it would be for either of these two to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League this season.

Roma edged the first leg 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico to condemn Porto to their first defeat in all competitions since early October.

They were beaten at the Estadio do Dragao for the first time since August at the weekend, to rivals Benfica, and they can bounce back here against a Roma outfit struggling on the road.

Eusebio Di Francesco's side, also beaten at the weekend by city rivals Lazio, have won just four of their last 13 away matches and were even beaten on the road by Viktoria Plzen in the group stages.

Porto won all three of their home matches in Group D, dispatching Galatasaray, Lokomotiv Moscow and Schalke, and they can be confident of at least winning on the night here.

The 21/20 price available on them to be victorious is appealing, but throwing in under 3.5 total goals takes the odds to 2/1 at a general price and provides plenty of leeway in the event of a 2-1 scoreline.

Away goals could be vital here in deciding which side advances.

Score prediction: FC Porto 1-0 AS Roma (Sky Bet odds: 8/1)

Best bet: Porto to win and under 3.5 total goals at 2/1

Opta stats

Nicolo Zaniolo scored both of Roma's goals in the first leg against Porto
Nicolo Zaniolo scored both of Roma's goals in the first leg against Porto
  • 45.8% of the teams to have won 2-1 at home in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie have progressed to the next round (11 out of 24).
  • Porto knocked out Roma in their two previous two-legged encounters (1981/82 Cup Winners Cup second round, 2016/17 Champions League play-off).
  • Porto will be looking to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2014/15 whilst Roma are attempting to make it to the quarter-finals for a second consecutive season for the first time since 2007/08.
  • Roma have lost each of their last seven Champions League knockout stage matches away from home – the last time they won an away game in the KO stages came back in March 2008 against Real Madrid in the round of 16.
  • Porto have won none of their last six Champions League knockout games (D1 L5), failing to score in four of their last five matches.
  • Porto haven’t progressed from a two-legged tie in the Champions League/European Cup after losing the first leg since October 1986, in a Last 16 tie of the European Cup against FC Vítkovice. They lost 1-0 away in the first leg before beating them 3-0 in Portugal in the second leg.
  • Seven of Roma’s starting XI in the first leg against FC Porto were Italian; the first time that they have started as many Italians in a Champions League game since September 2010 versus Bayern Munich (7) and the first Italian team to start as many in the competition since Juventus versus FC København in September 2013 (7).
  • Roma had nine shots on target in the first leg of their tie against Porto, which was the most the Portuguese side had allowed an opponent in the Champions League since April 2015 (10 vs Bayern Munich) – a run of 29 games.
  • Despite playing only 22 minutes against Roma in the first leg, Adrián López set up the most shots for Porto (3). He also scored their only goal, his first in the competition since September 2014.
  • In the first leg against Porto, Roma’s Nicolò Zaniolo became the second youngest (19y 225d) player to score a brace in a Champions League knockout match behind Kylian Mbappe in April 2017 for Monaco (18y 113d).
  • Edin Dzeko has been involved in 14 goals in his last 11 Champions League appearances for Roma (10 goals, 4 assists). He’s only failed to either score or assist in one of the 11 games during this run.

Odds correct at 1200 GMT (05/03/19)

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Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team highlight their best Saturday bets, with Matt Brocklebank waiting until the evening card at Kempton and George Pitts looking at Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Raheem Sterling celebrates his goal for England2

Sterling shines for five-star England

Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Gareth Southgate’s England beat the Czech Republic 5-0 in a perfect start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba celebrate for France3

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World Cup winners France battered Moldova 4-1 while Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal were held to a 0-0 draw by Ukraine.

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Sporting Life Accumulator

With the international break pausing action in the Championship, we have backed four teams in League One and League Two...

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Paper Talk: £65m Maguire?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives green light on big-money Harry Maguire move and Man City want £105m-rated wonderkid, according to the back pages.

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