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Benfica Host PSV in First Leg of UCL Play-off

First Meeting Between the Two in 10 Years

Benfica and PSV are worldwide recognized teams, but here they’re fighting to get into the UEFA Champions League Group Stage. Both missed last season’s edition, in fact, they weren’t even able to advance in the Europa League.

Both renewed their roster and are ready to return to the elite, but only will be able to do so. Expect a back-and-forth game with plenty of opportunities in front of goal. Let’s look at the latest news, stats, injury reports and the soccer odds for Benfica vs PSV. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider!

Benfica's German forward Luca Waldschmidt
PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

Game: Benfica vs PSV
Location: Estadio Da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal
Time: Wednesday, Aug. 18, 3 p.m. ET
Television: beIN Sports
Live Stream: fuboTV

UEFA Champions League Qualification Betting Lines

Team Handicap Moneyline Over/Under Team Total
Benfica -½ +115 +115 2½ -120o 1½ +105o/-135u
PSV +½ +230 +230 2½ -110u 1½ +180o/-230u
Draw +240

Head to Head

  • Previous Matches: 7
  • Benfica Victories: 2 (11 goals)
  • PSV Victories: 1 (8 goals)
  • Draws: 4

Benfica and PSG last met in the 2010-11 Europa League season. It was in the Round of 8, and Benfica crushed PSV 4-1 in the first leg. None of the scorers are still playing. The second leg finished 2-2.

PSV’s only victory over Benfica was in the 1974-75 season. Curiously enough, it was on the road. Overall, PSV owns a 6-6-5 record against Portuguese teams. On the other hand, Benfica owns a 10-9-6 record against Dutch teams.

Why bet on Benfica?

Benfica has had an amazing start to the season, both domestically and internationally.

Domestically, they’re 2-0-0 in the Primeira Liga after beating Moreirense (1-2) and Arouca (2-0) in their first two games. Luca Waldschmidt leads the team in scoring with two goals. Internationally, they crushed Spartak Moscow 4-0 in the previous UCL qualification round, just as we predicted.

Benfica signed several players to become a true contender, including Roman Yaremchuk, who’s committed to greatness.

“I feel better every day, but physically I want more, I want to develop my fitness to be better. The fans are happy, and we are happy too before the next match in the Champions League,” said the striker after their last game.

Their roster also includes two experienced players who know very well how to play these games. Joao Mario, who used to play for Inter Milan, and Nicolas Otamendi, who used to play for Manchester City.

Manager Jorge Jesus decided not to rest any starters in their last game. He’s committed to developing enviable chemistry between all lines. That also allows players to have a more competitive rhythm.

Jan Vertonghen, Darwin Nunez, and Haris Seferovic are questionable due to injury. Their expected lineup is Odisseas Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Nicolas Otamendi, Gil Dias, Morato; Pizzi, Soualiho Meite, Joao Mario, Everton; Roman Yaremchuk, Luca Waldschmidt.

Why Bet on PSV?

Last season, PSV lost the Eredivisie title to Ajax, finishing 16 points behind. That motivated them to renew their roster, mentality, and goals. Fortunately for them, good results have come sooner than expected.

Domestically, they crushed Ajax 4-0 in the Dutch Super Cup, and opened the Eredivisie with a 0-2 victory over Heracles. Internationally, they crushed both Galatasaray (7-2) and Midtjylland (4-0) in the previous UCL qualification rounds.

“We have a chance to make a mark. We earned the victory against Heracles, but we must remain focused on the massive encounter in Portugal. Benfica is a different side and it will be a different game,” said defender Andre Ramalho to the press.

That’s the new mentality I was talking about. They want a lot more than they received credit for, even if the sports betting aren’t favoring them.

Against Heracles, manager Roger Schmidt gave the day off to some starters. The list includes Marco van Ginkel, Mario Gotze, Eran Zahavi, and Philipp Max. That gives them a certain advantage, especially from the physical point of view.

Maximiliano Romero and Maxime Delanghe remain out due to injury. Their expected lineup is Joel Drommel; Phillipp Mwene, Andre Ramalho, Olivier Boscagli, Philipp Max; Marco van Ginkel, Ibrahim Sangare, Noni Madueke, Mario Gotze, Yorbe Vertessen; Eran Zahavi.

Final Analysis and Predictions

Best UCL Play-off series without a doubt! In fact, both deserve to advance, but only one will. PSV is the better team but winning in Lisbon isn’t easy, Benfica has transformed Estadio Da Luz into a fortress. Last season they finished with a 14-5-2 home record regarding the Primeira Liga and the Europa League.

The Dutch side scored at least one goal in their last seven games in all competitions. The Portuguese did the same in their last six games in all competitions. I expect a fast-paced match in which both will score. However, the total will go under.

Don’t forget to check the Soccer Props to increase your winning chances. Take a shot on the correct score, half time/full time winner, and more!

Score Prediction: Benfica 1 – PSV 1

Pick: Draw at +240

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