Porto-Napoli Betting Preview: Tight tussle expected when European veterans meet

Both of these sides will be confident of reaching the last eight of the competition but our tipster expects them to settle for a share of the spoils when they clash on Thursday
Two sides with a fine European pedigree go head-to-head for a place in the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday night when Porto play host to Napoli in what promises to be an absorbing last 16 first-leg tie in Portugal.

Luis Castro's men have lost just one of their last 14 matches on home turf and can be backed at 5/4 (2.25) with bet365 to claim victory over Napoli on Thursday, while the same firm offer 11/10 (2.10) on the Portuguese side reaching the last eight of the competition at the expense of the Serie A challengers.

Rafael Benitez's men survived a scare against Premier League side Swansea City to reach this stage of the competition and are narrow favourites at 4/6 (1.67) with bet365 to qualify for the last eight.

Napoli, though, are available at 11/5 (3.20) with bet365 to take a significant stride towards a quarter-final berth by seizing the first-leg lead in Porto while the draw is likely to be a popular play with punters at 23/10 (3.30) with the same firm.

Porto may have a solid recent record on home soil but they have failed to win any of their four European ties at home thus far this term while it is worth noting that Napoli have won just one of their last six matches away from home in all competitions.

Indeed, Benitez's side have won only one of their last nine Europa League matches on their travels and may well be nervous ahead of their trip to Portugal.

However, it is worth noting that, despite Napoli's patchy record on the road, they have found the net in no fewer than eight of their last 10 away matches while Porto have scored in all but one of their last 14 games at home.

With that in mind, the 5/6 (1.83) quote on offer from bet365 for both teams to find the net here certainly carries plenty of appeal.

Better value, though, may lie in backing a first-leg stalemate in Porto and, therefore, punters are advised to snap up the draw at an appealing 23/10 (3.30) with bet365 ahead of Thursday's tie.

Draw at 23/10 (3.30) 1pt stake with bet365

New bet365 customers can claim a first deposit bonus of up to £200