Benfica vs Bayern: Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
Wednesday, September 19th, 2018, 14:00 UTC-5
Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica Lisbon
Niko Kovac takes his Bayern team to Portugal for his first Champions League fixture as the German club’s head coach.
Kovac has brought a new sense of intensity to Bayern that seemed to be much needed after many of the squad performed so woefully at the World Cup in the summer. Six consecutive Bundesliga titles has also allowed complacency to creep in so it will be interesting to see how the Croatian’s new regime handles the Champions League.
Benfica have already completed two qualifying rounds to get this far – seeing off the challenges of Fenerbahce and PAOK. An impressive 4-1 victory in Greece has set the Portuguese champions in good stead for a Champions League group that they will be confident in progressing from.
Bayern have started the season in a predictably successful fashion and Robert Lewandowski in particular has looked on top form after a very miserable summer with Poland at the World Cup.
Benfica have started their 85th consecutive season in top flight Portuguese football in fine form, only dropping points to rivals Sporting. They will be hoping that home advantage gives them the best possible start to their European campaign. But it is difficult to see past an away victory here – Bayern to win 2-1.
Pizzi has started the season brightly and scored in the away win at PAOK where Benfica came back from a goal down to win 4-1. The Eagles may not be fancied for the win but they could well grab a goal to make things interesting.
Both Benfica and Bayern have been able to find the net regularly this season and although Champions League football is obviously different to the Primeira Liga and the Bundesliga, fans could be in for a treat with this one.
1 x 2 Odds
Head to Head
In six previous European encounters Bayern have never lost – although Benfica have never experienced a defeat against the German champions at home. The most recent match ended in a 2-2 draw at the Estádio da Luz.
These two sides boast seven European Cup/Champions League titles between them. But the last victory either side tasted was back in 2013 when Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund in the final at Wembley.
Benfica are playing in the Champions League group stage for the ninth consecutive season – a Portuguese record. But last season’s performance was a disaster, losing all six games and scoring just the one goal.
Bayern Munich have reached the quarter final stage or better in each of the last seven seasons. But it is six seasons since they lifted the famous trophy.
Renato Sanches played 24 times in the league for Benfica in his only season before making a big money move to Bayern in 2016. The Portuguese midfielder has seen his career stall somewhat since then however and is unlikely to start against his former club.