PAOK – Benfica, Champions League Prediction
PAOK made a great march in the Champions League and after the first match against Benfica, which did not particularly expected for the Greeks to get the magnificent result,1-1, now they have a much better chance of writing the new part in the history of the club with qualification in the champions league group stage. If they manage to eliminate the Portuguese grand, it will be one of the greatest achievements for the Greek team and for sure the icing of the cake to their overall performance in the champions league so far. The result they got out of the first game gave them some advantage. Home factor will again play a key role now. They have just one loss from the last 19 games as it was in a friendly game. As hosts, however, they have scored goals lately quite often. They defeated Asteras Tripolis by 1-0 in the first round of the Greek Super League and are now fully focused on the decisive fight with Benfica.
The eagles are looking to score an away goal. This is mandatory for them. Accordingly, they can not afford a closed game or attempts to defend too much, because they are the team which have to lead the game. They have not missed the group stage of the Champions League since the distant season 2009/2010, when they did not qualify for the tournament in the previous campaign at all. As far as qualifiers or playoffs are concerned, Benfica was eliminated only 2 times in these stages in their history in the modern format of the tournament. This happened in their first two campaigns during the 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 seasons, when they were kicked out of Lazio and Anderlecht respectively. Since then, Benfica almost always participate in the tournament. This is important because traditions are sometimes key factor. Benfica have just lost one of their last 14 games, but it was in a friendly match in the United States against Juventus.
Benfica missed to score in just 2 of their last 36 games, including the derbies with Porto and Sporting. Here, they are obliged to score, because they simply can not afford not to qualify for the Champions League groups, which gives them serious earnings every season. PAOK, on the other hand, have only 2 clean sheets in their last 13 games but have missed to score in just 2 of their last 27 games at home. In the first match, both teams exchanged goals. This is also expected in this fixture. The match is expected to be extremely dynamic, exciting, strenuous and spectacular. Especially interesting. Our main prediction is “BTTS” at 1.85. Benfica is more likely to qualify, because of their bigger quality as a team, but it won’t be easy for sure. The odds for this are 1.78 and another option that is most likely to happen is – at least 5-6 cards in this match !
Corchia(D), Ebuehi(D), Krovinovic(M), Castillo(F) and Jonas(F) are out, but none of these players have played a single game this season