Benfica

Benfica vs RB Leipzig

, KO: 20:00 Sep 17, 2019, Estadio da Luz
RB Leipzig

BENFICA are flying the flag for Portugal in the Champions League this season after Porto's shock exit in the qualifiers.

And the Eagles will have to soar in their group opener with Leipzig if they are to successfully negotiate a section that also includes Lyon and Zenit St Petersburg.

It's probably the most open group in the Champions League this season as there's no standout side and every team is capable of beating each other, home and away.

That's reflected in the odds for Group G's winner before a ball has been kicked, with Leipzig a best 2/1 at Betway, Lyon 5/2 with Ladbrokes, Benfica 4/1 at Paddy Power and Zenit 6/1 with William Hill.

That will change after the first round of fixtures and I fancy home advantage to give the Portuguese champions the edge against Leipzig. A Benfica win is priced 44/25 with Marathonbet and that looks great value on the evidence of last season's European exploits.

After finishing third in a Champions League group that contained Bayern Munich and eventual semi-finalists Ajax, the Eagles went on a fine run in the Europa League, losing in the quarter-finals on away goals to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Leipzig, meanwhile, failed to get past the group stage in Europe's second-tier competition, finishing third behind Salzburg and Celtic after a shock 1-1 draw at home to Rosenborg in the final game.

The Germans, backed by Red Bull's billions, have strengthened again in the summer, signing Ademola Lookman, Christopher Nkunku, Hannes Wolf and Luan Candido while brining in Patrik Schick and Ethan Ampadu on loan.

The new boys have featured mainly on the bench so far but Leipzig have got off to a flier in the Bundesliga, beating Union Berlin, Frankfurt and Monchengladbach in their first three games.

Many people expected them to be knocked off their stride when Bayern came calling at the weekend but Emil Forsberg's penalty secured a 1-1 draw so Leipzig will head into their second ever Champions League group campaign on a high.

They faced Portuguese opposition on their debut at the top table back in 2017/18 and lost 3-1 to Porto on their travels after winning 3-2 in Germany. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a repeat here and a Benfica win with both teams to score appeals at 19/5 with 888 Sport. Both teams to score on its own is much shorter at 4/6 with Boylesports but still well worth backing.

Timo Werner started the season on fire for Leipzig, netting five goals in his first three Bundesliga games, including a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Monchengladbach.

He drew a blank for Germany against Holland and Northern Ireland and was shut out again in the weekend draw with Bayern. But the striker is still Leipzig's deadliest weapon and is a decent price at 13/10 with William Hill for anytime scorer.

Benfica lost their most prodigious talent in the summer when Atletico Madrid made them a £113million offer for wonderkid Joao Felix that they simply couldn't refuse.

Winger Eduardo Salvio also returned to his native Argentina while Raul Jimenez's loan move to Wolves also became a £30m permanent deal, helping to boost the coffers by over £170m this summer.

Benfica haven't exactly splashed that cash, spending just under £40m on Raul de Tomas, Carlos Vinicius, Chiquinho and Jhonder Cadiz.

Their title defence suffered a blow when Porto won 2-0 at Estadio da Luz last month but that has been the only blip, with Benfica winning every other game.

The goals have been flying in, with midfielder Pizzi bagging six in an impressive start to his season, including one in the weekend win over Gil Vicente. The 29-year-old is 9/5 with William Hill for anytime scorer and that could be worth a few quid.

With the teams so evenly matched it promises to be a tight game so try a one-goal winning margin for either side at 11/8 with Betway.

This match between Benfica and RB Leipzig will be played on Sep 17, 2019 and kick off at 20:00

Benfica vs RB Leipzig Betting Tips & Predictions
Benfica to win
44/25
Marathonbet
Pizzi anytime scorer
9/5
William Hill
One-goal winning margin for either side
11/8
Betway

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