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Iberian’s can assert dominance over Group G in opening fixtures

| 18.09.2013

Porto, along with the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, make their 18th appearance in the Champions League this year. Contrastingly, Austria Vienna make their first ever appearance in the competition and so it is no surprise they are 5/1 to win here.

Vienna claimed their first league title in seven years last campaign, but the champions have so far looked a mess domestically and currently lie fifth in the league. They head into this game without a win in their last three matches in all competitions.

And while the high-profile departures of Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez to Monaco make the Primeira Liga champions a less daunting prospect in theory, this has failed to manifest thus far.

Paulo Fonseca’s men started their campaign by securing the Portuguese Super Cup, dismantling Vitória Guimarães 3-0, and have since gone on to claim maximum points from four league fixtures, conceding only once in that stretch. It comes as no surprise then that they are 8/15 to claim their sixth win in a row.

Colombian hit-man Jackson Martinez has played no small part in that run and boasts a 100 per cent scoring record for his club this season. Martinez, who topped the Primeira Liga scoring charts with 26 strikes, was linked with a host of top European clubs in the summer and having opened the scoring in two of Porto’s last three games looks a good bet at 3/1 to score first here.

The other contest in Group G sees Atletico Madrid welcome Zenit St Petersburg to the Vicente Calderon in what is likely to be a more competitive affair but should still see the home side triumph, priced at 8/13.

Atletico’s 4-2 win against Almeria extended Los Colchoneros unbeaten run to nine games and currently lie second behind Barcelona in La Liga after picking up 12 points from four games.
Like Porto, Atletico lost their star man Radamel Falcao, who helped inspire them to their best league finish in over a decade last season, in a big money move to Monaco. However, the Spaniards still seem to have no problem finding the back of the net.

Diego Costa has four goals in the league this term, second only to Lionel Messi, but misses out through suspension but the acquisition of David Villa has proved to be a very canny move by Diego Simeone.

Villa struck a world-class volley on his debut for Atletico against former club Barcelona and two goals in his last two games for Los Rojiblancos suggests he retains all the ability of old. Considering that both those goals were the first in the game, 3/1 looks a very tempting price to score the first this time.

Zenit will be looking to avoid starting this Champions league campaign as they did the last, when losing 3-0 to Malaga in Spain and did not fare well away from home, losing four of their five away matches on the road.

If the Russian side are to gain anything from this game, they will need Portuguese forward Danny to continue in the same form that has seen him net six in his last eight. He is 10/3 to score anytime in this fixture.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matthew Mower