Club Brugge vs Benfica – Betting Preview
On Wednesday night at the Jan Breydel Stadium, Club Brugge and Benfica square off in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16.
Scott Parker is back on the big screen after being fired from Bournemouth earlier this season. He joins Bobby Robson (FC Porto and PSV) and Gary Neville as the only other English managers to lead a non-English team in the Champions League (Valencia).
Club Brugge Preview
Since taking over for Carl Hoefkens at the end of December, the former midfielder for Tottenham, West Ham, and Chelsea has struggled, winning just one of his first seven games. Not everything has been bad, though, since five of those games ended in draws.
Brugge will also take comfort in the fact that they have already put Portuguese opponents to the sword, thumping Porto 4-0 just before the World Cup break. The Belgian club was excellent in the Champions League groups under Parker’s predecessor, keeping five clean sheets out of their six games.
The Belgians, who finished second in Group B behind Porto and finished ahead of both Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid, made history by making it to this stage of the competition.
After Friday’s 1-1 draw with Union Saint-Gilloise, the Blue-Black have yet to fully blossom under the former Bournemouth manager. Brugge is presently 20 points off the lead in the Belgian Pro League!
In Roger Schmidt’s first season at the Estadio da Luz, Benfica has excelled. They have just lost once this season and were undefeated in a Champions League group that included Juventus and PSG. Schmidt’s team exudes style and quality despite losing Enzo Fernandez last month.
Benfica, was one of the standout performers during the group stage, knocking Paris Saint-Germain, a team known for their wealth, into second place in Group H to set up this match.
Nearer to home, Roger Schmidt’s team is looking over the standings from the top of the Primeira Liga in Portugal, where they are five points ahead of bitter rival Porto!
1×2 Betting Odds
Club Brugge have exceeded all expectations by reaching this stage of the competition, their form has fallen off a cliff since the World Cup Break.
The Belgian champions have claimed top honours in just one of their last nine matches in all competitions.
They are the underdogs in this @ 4.60.
As already alluded to, the Eagles earned rave reviews for their showings during the group stage as they played with a real swagger and confidence en-route to qualifying for the round of 16.
In fact, only Napoli and Bayern Munich scored more goals than Benfica during the pool phase of the competition, with Roger Schmidt’s side slamming in 16 goals across their six Group H outings.
The away side are the favourites @ 1.92.
The possility of a stalemate stands @ 3.92.
Total goals over/under
The odds that the total number of goals scored will be over 2.5, stands @ 1.90.
While the odds that the total number of goals will be under 2.5, stands @ 2.05.
Well the market is split on whether this will be high scoring match or a low scoring one!
Saying that, the market still believes Benfica will have enough to win this first leg!