Mark O’Haire’s Champions League Tips – Benfica v Bayern MunichStats
Benfica v Bayern Munich
In each of Bayern Munich’s previous three European excursions against Benfica, the Germans have eliminated their opponents and gone on to reach the final that same season.
Benfica v Bayern Munich, Wednesday 13th April 2016, 19.45, BT Sport 2
And with 19/28 (68%) of teams to win 1-0 at home in the first leg of a Champions League game going on to progress, the stats suggest this tie is done and dusted.
Bayern have bagged a semi-final spot in five of the past six campaigns and Pep Guardiola’s group are rated just 1/16 to enhance that return this midweek. Die Roten can be backed at 7/10 to seal the deal with a victory in Lisbon.
Benfica haven’t made the final four of Europe’s premier club competition since 1990 but they left the Allianz Arena last week with their heads held high after a solid performance when losing 1-0 despite landing just one shot-on-target. The Portuguese outfit are now 17/2 to upset the odds and book a semi-final date.
Bayern have failed to win any of their last six away knockout matches (W0-D3-L3) on the continent but will know Benfica’s lack of an away goal gives the Bundesliga table-toppers an added advantage here. So Guardiola’s charges will feel that finding the net is the key to reaching the next round.
Goals, Goals, Goals
Benfica are Portugal’s top-scoring team with a hugely impressive 78 goals in 29 league matches this term, but Bayern have scored 26 Champions League goals this season – twice as many as their Portuguese opponents – and it is their undoubted quality in the final third that makes them such strong favourites.
The visitors’ attacking performances have been slightly lacklustre of late as since the start of March they’ve scored only once or failed to score in four of their six Bundesliga matches. And although FC Hollywood have recorded shutouts in nine of their last 17 away dates, just two clean sheets in eight knockout games ensures a level of vulnerability in the guests.
Benfica have scored in all four of their Estadio da Luz outings in Europe this term but have been dealt a hammer-blow thanks to Jonas’ suspension. The top scorer has plundered 18 goals in 18 games in 2016 leaving the attacking burden on Kostas Mitroglu’s shoulders. Raul Jimenez is also expected to get the nod.
Rui Vitoria’s also sweating on the fitness of key playmaker Nicolas Gaitan who limped off at the weekend; should the lively Argentine miss out, Benfica’s offensive options are greatly reduced. With Bayern likely to score, the hosts would need three to progress – something they’ve managed just once in 39 Champions League fixtures.
Beware Of Bayern
Still, the capital cub have won 20 of their last 22 games across all competitions and only been silenced once in 18 as hosts. However, none of their opponents this season can compare to Bayern Munich and both Porto and Atletico have departed with maximum points here.
Benfica’s lack of an away goal means the Eagles must go on the offensive and I’d expect Bayern to strengthen their grip on this tie by netting in Lisbon.
Six of the home side’s nine Champions League dates have featured winning Both Teams To Score bets and at 20/23, the repeat looks a logical selection. But I’ll also have a wee nibble on the 5/2 that Bayern win alongside BTTS.
Both Teams To Score (20/23)
Bayern Munich to win and Both Teams To Score (5/2)
*Prices correct at time of publication