Club Brugge KV – Benfica Predictions
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Club Brugge KV 0-2 Benfica
Date: 15.02.2023 | Match at: 21:00 | League: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – PLAY OFFS – 1/8-FINALS | Tip: Under 3.5 Goals | Odds: 1.35 | Bookie: Unibet.
Club Brugge KV – Benfica Predictions and Preview
- A return to UEFA Champions League (UCL) action for this last-16 clash seems timely for Club Brugge, who have faltered of late on the domestic stage, winning just one of their nine games (D6, L2) following the World Cup break. That doesn’t make for pleasant reading ahead of the visit of Benfica, though the fact this is Club Brugge’s UCL knockout debut should buoy them in preparation for a first ever H2H meeting.
- Club Brugge qualified in second (W3, D2, L1) behind Benfica’s Portuguese rivals Porto in Group B after keeping an impressive five clean sheets across their group games. No club secured more shut-outs than that in the group stage phase, and Club Brugge may again be relying on that defensive solidity as they seek to improve upon a run of four defeats from their last five games in European competition against Portuguese opposition.
- Despite a six game unbeaten run preceding it, Primeira Liga leaders Benfica travel to Brugge on a downer after a quarter-final Taça de Portugal penalties defeat against Braga. Having already been knocked out of one cup competition, Benfica will be keen not to fall to the same fate and ought to be confident they can take a positive first-leg result back to Portugal, given they’re unbeaten in their ten UCL games this term (W8, D2) dating back to their August qualifiers.
- In fact, you’d have to go back to August 2021 (W5, D3 since) for Benfica’s last UCL defeat on the road, and with just one defeat from their last 14 games in European competition against Belgian opposition (W9, D4), few would bet against that run extending here. They are without Enzo Fernández after his big money move to Chelsea, so it remains to be seen how Benfica cope both in his absence, and amidst a raft of changes to their UCL squad.
- Players to watch: Hans Vanaken has scored Club Brugge’s last two competitive goals and each of his last six strikes have arrived before the break, while Benfica’s João Mário has seen three of his four UCL goals this term arrive from the penalty spot.
- Hot stat: Four of Benfica’s last five UCL games saw both teams score in the first half.
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