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AEK Athens – Benfica



AEK Athens Benfica Champions League prediction

Greek titleholders AEK Athens will try to get their Champions League campaign up and running when they host Benfica in matchday 2 on Tuesday. The two teams are in Group E, which also features Ajax and Bayern Munich.

The hosts (who won the title in a controversial manner last season and probably didn`t deserve it) started their Champions League campaign with an ugly 0-3 loss in Amsterdam against Ajax. It was a match in which AEK managed to pretty much hold its own defensively until the last 15 minutes, but the Greeks were outplayed and created nothing up front. That was just the first loss of the season for AEK, but another one followed quickly in their next match as they lost 0-2 against rivals PAOK. AEK bounced back over this weekend with a 3-0 win over Heraklion, but that was just a normal result against poor opposition.

Benfica is having a pretty good start to the season, as the visitors lost only one game in all competitions, and that was against the mighty Bayern Munich in their Champions League opener. Benfica actually played pretty well in that game as they had around 50% possession and the same amount of chances as Bayern, but the Germans were just too clinical and experienced. Now Benfica will come to Greece knowing that a win is pretty much mandatory if they don`t want to fall behind in the race for qualification.

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Team news & lineups:

AEK Athens missed at least 3 key players in the last UCL match against Ajax, and they will only get back Bakasetas for this game. The hosts will continue to miss Livaja and Helder Lopes, while Boye, Albanis and Babis are all highly doubtful.

Benfica will be without Jardel and Ebuehi, while Castillo, Pires, Felix and Krovinovic are questionable. On the bright side for the visitors, striker Jonas (99 goals in 112 league games for the club) returns and could even start.

AEK Athens: Barkas – Cosic, Lampropoulos, Oikonomou, Hult – Simoes, Galanopoulos – Mantalos, Klonaridis, Bakasetas – Ponce

Benfica: Vlachodimos – Almeida, Dias, Conti, Grimaldo – Fejsa – Cervi, Pizzi, Fernandes, Salvio – Seferovic (Jonas)

There will surely be a fantastic atmosphere in the stands at the Olympic Stadium, as AEK Athens plays at home in the Champions League for the first time since 2006. While it won`t be easy for Benfica in such a hostile atmosphere, fact is that fans only have a marginal impact on the game when there is a gap in quality involved. Benfica actually proved that last month against another Greek team.

Benfica played PAOK in the Champions League playoffs at the end of August and completely dominated the Salonic side. Benfica was held to a 1-1 draw in Portugal by PAOK but should have probably won that game at least 3-0, and then went on to win 4-1 in Greece (although this time Benfica was a bit lucky). And that was against a side which is definitely better than AEK right now, as PAOK has proved numerous times this year, including two weeks ago when they beat AEK 2-0.

The fact that Benfica destroyed PAOK in Salonic doesn`t automatically mean they will do the same thing to AEK, but fact is that there is a difference in quality here. What`s more, AEK will miss 2-3 key players, which will hurt them against a superior opponent – just like it did against Ajax.

Benfica badly needs the three points after losing at home to Bayern in the first game, and they should have enough to claim them in Athens. It won`t necessarily be easy, but we can take cover in case of a draw, as the odds for Benfica draw no bet are competitive.

I am more than happy to back Benfica +0 Asian handicap here, the asian handicap provides a lot of security since a home win definitely seems unlikely. Prediction: AEK Athens – Benfica 0-2.

Pick: Benfica (+0 Asian Handicap)
Odds: 1.53 @ 1xBet
Stake: 9
Possible profit: 4.77
Event date: 2 October

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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