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Luciano Spalletti's men gave themselves a great chance of qualification with victory in the reverse fixture, and Al Hain-Cole expects them to practically complete the job at home

Zenit St Petersburg can take a big step towards the Champions League knockout stages when they welcome Porto to the Petrovsky Stadium on Wednesday.

A red card for Hector Herrera helped Luciano Spalletti’s men to all three points in Portugal two weeks ago and they are favourites at 6/4 (2.50) with William Hill to open up a four-point gap with victory this evening.

Dragoes have only won one of their last four away games in this competition but are available at 9/5 (2.80) to emerge victorious in Russia.

The hosts were disappointed to draw their first Group G home game against Austria Wien, and you can get odds of 11/5 (3.20) on them dropping two points once again tonight.

Having somehow picked up two yellow cards within the opening six minutes in the reverse fixture, Herrera's ill-discipline has left Paulo Fonseca’s side with a mountain to climb as they attempt to escape the group stages for the eighth time in their last 10 attempts.

The visitors go into today’s match a point behind their hosts and with a difficult away tie against runaway leaders Atletico Madrid to follow their clash against Austria Wien, who are expected to provide little resistance against either of tonight’s opponents.

They may therefore need all three points this evening in order to give themselves a chance of progression, but will be up against it to overcome a team with just one defeat in their last 14 home games in this competition.

What’s more, Porto’s record of five defeats in their last nine Champions League away fixtures does not bode well for the long trip to St Petersburg, where they lost 3-1 on their only previous visit two years ago.

Unbeaten in 10 home games this season, Zenit offer excellent value at 6/4 (2.50) to move within touching distance of the last 16 with an eighth victory in 10 in front of their own fans.

William Hill are offering a special enhanced price of 5/1 (6.00) on Sine-Belo-Golubye coming out on top in a game featuring a goal from Roman Shirokov, and those odds are surely too good to pass up considering the midfielder has struck 10 goals in 13 games this season.
 
BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Zenit to win for a 1pt stake at 6/4 (2.50) with William Hill
Zenit to win and Shirokov to score for a 0.75pt stake at 5/1 (6.00) with William Hill

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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