Benfica vs LyonUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Oct 23, 2019, Estadio da Luz
BENFICA have still to get off the mark in the Champions League and they will be aiming to breathe life into their ailing European campaign when they lock horns with Lyon on Wednesday night.
After losing 2-1 at home to RB Leipzig on matchday one, the Eagles then crashed to a 3-1 defeat against a slick Zenit St Petersburg side.
Consequently, Bruno Lage's men are now in real danger of being cut-adrift in Group G and they can ill-afford a third consecutive defeat when they welcome Lyon to Lisbon.
The French giants are currently languishing in 17th place in Ligue 1 and during the recent international break they binned Brazilian boss Sylvinho and swiftly recruited Rudi Garcia.
The famed new manager bounce failed to materialise for Garcia on Saturday when he watched his side play out a lackluster 0-0 draw at home to Dijon.
Yet, Les Gones domestic crisis doesn't stretch to the continent where they have collected four points from their opening two matches in this section following a 1-1 draw with Zenit and an eye-catching 2-0 away win at Leipzig last time out.
Another triumph on their travels would put Lyon in pole position to qualify for the last 16 and they are priced at 11/5 (BoyleSports) to leave Lisbon with all three points.
The home side have only had one run out since being run over in Russia – a Taca de Portugal cup tie with Cova Piedade – a game in which Benfica cruised to a 4-0 success – and the hosts will he hoping to land another clean-sheet on Wednesday night.
However, Lyon have found the back of the net in their last five games outside of France, but they have only managed one clean-sheet in their last 10 games in Europe's elite club competition.
With that in mind, as well as the fact that Benfica have shipped five goals in two outings thus far, backing both teams to score springs to mind, however, odds of 8/13 (William Hill) look a bit skinny.
Yet, combining both teams to score along with over 2.5 match goals boosts the price up to Evens (Bet 365) – and that combination is an enticing one given that it has landed in Benfica's last two Champions League outings.
What's more, Benfica may have to throw caution to the wind in a bid to revive their campaign and as such I'm expecting an exciting contest inside the Esatdio da Luz.
An open game could also point towards cards – even more so with strict Slovenian official Ivan Kruzliak taking charge – and once candidate to consider for a caution could be Lyon's Thigao Mendes.
The Brazilian midfielder clocked up 10 cards for Lille last season and he has already landed in the referees notebook three times this term- one of which was red – and Mendes looks nicely priced at 9/5 (UniBet) to be booked against a technically-gifted Benfica team.
In considering who will come out on top in this tussle – the outcome could well rest on whether or not Lyon talisman Memphis Depay makes a return from injury – the Dutchman has scored all three of Lyon's group-stages goals so far
However, even if Depay is ruled out, I would still consider getting Lyon on side given that they have only lost one of their last 10 Champions League matches – and that was away at Barcelona.
Therefore, backing Garcia's men with a +0.25 start on the Asian handicap appeals at Evens (BetVictor)- in doing so your bet would land in the event of a Lyon win, however this angle also provides some insurance in the event of a draw as half of your stake would be returned and half would be settled as a winner at the aforementioned price.
This UEFA Champions League match between Benfica and Lyon will be played on Oct 23, 2019 and kick off at 20:00