Barcelona vs Benfica: prediction for the Champions League game
Barcelona approached the start of a Champions League group stage in a poor form, but despite that, hardly anyone questioned The Blaugrana's spot in the play-offs. But in the first round it became clear that crisis in the team is deeper than everyone thought - Barca was heavily beaten by Bayern at Camp Nou (0:3), Bavarians could've score even more.
In the second round Ronald Koeman, who was a head coach of the team at that time, desperately wanted to redeem himself for that defeat at Lisboa, but suffered another defeat, losing to Benfica (0:3). But in two matches against Dynamo Kyiv Barcelona picked up six points, beating the Kyiv side 1:0 in each of the matches. Those victories helped the team to rise to the 2nd spot in the standings. But team is only two points ahead of Benfica.
During the previous week Xavi was named the new head coach of the team and in the first match his team recorded a victory over Espanyol (1:0) in a Catalan derby.
Benfica had a difficult road to the group stage of the Champions League, but in the first round team performed below expectations. Jorge Jesus' team performed worse than Dynamo at Kyiv and was close to a defeat, but eventually managed to keep a 0:0 draw. But in the second round Benfica's performance improved and team recorded a 3:0 victory over Barcelona, so far it is team's best game in the current tournament.
In a home game against Bayern in the third round Eagles managed to contain opponent's attacks until the 70th minute and a 0:0 draw was possible, but eventually Bavarians managed to break the deadlock and scored four goals in just 20 minutes. Benfica fought bravely at Munich, but suffered a 2:5 defeat - so far The Eagles are at the 3rd spot in the group with just four points, but they are only two points adrift from the 2nd-placed Barcelona.
Two out of four most recent draws of Barcelona ended with that score
This bet was successful in each of three most recent away matches of Benfica
In each of three most recent home games Barcelona scored in the second half
Barcelona is in a terrible form now, in the most recent match against Espanyol team looked very weak and was lucky to get the three points. Surely it will hard for Xavi to improve team's performance right away, so Benfica has a great chance to pick up points in this game - we don't think that the Eagles will record another victory, but they should be able to snatch a point.
Our prediction - Asian handicap (+1) for Benfica
Prediction: Handicap (+1) for Benfica
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In the previous match against Benfica Barcelona suffered a heavy defeat - The Blaugrana should be able to put up a better performance at home, but Spanish team's performance has not improved much since then. Benfica will be incredibly motivated. We think that a draw will be a positive result for the hosts, so we think that opponents will split the points today.
Our second bet is on a draw