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Porto v Arsenal: Tips, Predictions and Odds

The second batch of Champions League last-16 fixtures take centre stage this week with Porto hosting Arsenal on Wednesday, and the Racing Post's Aaron Ashley has picked out his three bets for the contest.

Arsenal are hoping to emulate the achievements of their Premier League title rivals Manchester City last week by claiming a first-leg lead of their own away at Porto.

City eased to a 3-1 success away at Copenhagen last Tuesday and the Gunners will be bidding to follow in their footsteps at the Estadio do Dragao, where they are 4/6 to win on the night.

Mikel Arteta's men eased to Group B supremacy, taking 14 points from six matches, while they have since renewed their Premier League title hopes with five straight successes.

Arsenal are hitting form at the perfect time but they will still need to be wary of the threat Porto pose after they finished runners-up to Barcelona in Group H, albeit level on 12 points after winning four of their six fixtures. 

The Portuguese hosts are 9/2 for a shock first-leg win while the draw is on offer at 11/4.

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Aaron Ashley's Porto v Arsenal tips and predictions

Over 2.5 goals - 1/1

Arsenal have responded superbly to the critics that suggested their lack of firepower would be the undoing of their Premier League title challenge and it should be an entertaining first leg in Porto.

The Gunners arrive at the Estadio do Dragao having won their last five matches and brimming with belief after racking up 21 goals along the way.

A 5-0 win at home to Palace kickstarted the winning run before they dug deep in a 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest and then outclassed Liverpool in a 3-1 success at the Emirates.

That win over title rivals Liverpool clearly restored confidence among Arteta’s forwards as their two subsequent fixtures have seen them win 6-0 away at West Ham and 5-0 at Burnley.

A trip to Portugal to face a Porto side that have won nine and drawn one of their last 10 home games clearly represents a sterner test.

But Barcelona were 1-0 winners at the Estadio do Dragao earlier in the season and Arsenal will believe they have what it takes to emulate that success.

The Gunners have the attacking quality to run riot but a free-scoring encounter makes more appeal as Porto also carry a forward threat.

In the group stage, Arsenal were beaten 2-1 away at French outfit Lens while they were also held to a 1-1 draw by Eredivisie side PSV in Eindhoven.

The Londoners did triumph in Seville but both teams scored again in a 2-1 win, suggesting Porto may have what it takes to at least get on the scoresheet.

Arteta’s side have conceded in 11 of their last 14 away games in all competitions and if Porto are going to have any chance of qualifying then they are going to have to score at home.

The Portuguese side were involved in some lively tussles in Group H, with both teams scoring in four of their six matches, which finished with a 5-3 home win over Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday six.

Arsenal’s last six Premier League matches have gone over 2.5 goals while four of their six Champions League fixtures this season also featured at least three goals.

Bukayo Saka to score or assist - 10/11

Even with 15 goals and 12 assists in 32 games for Arsenal this season, Saka still has many debating whether he is truly world-class.

The 22-year-old may not be there just yet but he is certainly heading in the right direction and few can dispute that he is one of the most exciting wingers in the game.

The stage is set for Saka to showcase his abilities in the Champions League and he is almost certain to have some involvement, making odds of 10/11 about him scoring or getting an assist too good to turn down.

Saka has netted in four straight matches, scoring six times in total, while he has three goals from five starts in the Champions League this season.

With Saka having also grabbed four assists in those five European appearances, the England international could have a defining role to play in Portugal.

Borges Wendell to be booked - 15/8

With first-choice left-back Zaudi limping off with an injury in Saturday's 2-0 win over Estrela, Borges Wendell is the most likely candidate to replace him.

Wendell performed well in that department when Zaudi was away on international duty with Nigeria but was suspended for Saturday’s most recent fixture.

That is because he has collected six yellow cards and one red from 17 appearances this season and that could be a recipe for disaster against Arsenal starlet Saka.

The Gunners youngster draws plenty of fouls and that may mean that Wendell could find it difficult to escape the referee's attention.

Read more football betting tips and predictions on site.

Porto v Arsenal odds

Porto - 9/2
Draw - 11/4
Arsenal - 4/6

View the full market and more odds for Porto v Arsenal on site.

Read how to watch, TV channel, head-to-head stats, team news and more on site.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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