Benfica vs ToulouseUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 Feb 15, 2024, Estadio da Luz
Benfica welcome Toulouse to the Estadio da Luz for their Europa League playoff first leg on Thursday. The Portuguese giants have impressed lately, particularly at home and should claim a comfortable first leg advantage over Toulouse, who have been far from their best.
Benfica are in the Europa League playoffs after finishing third in their Champions League group. They had lost their opening four matches before finding their form in the final weeks and claiming a 3-1 victory over RB Salzburg.
It has been mostly smooth sailing for Benfica since crashing out of the Champions League as they are unbeaten in their last 18 matches across all competitions. They have picked up 13 wins in that run but played out a 2-2 draw with Vitoria Guimaraes in a Primeira Liga fixture last weekend.
The Estadio da Luz has been a fortress for Benfica, who have won six of their last seven home matches across all competitions. The goals have flowed freely for Roger Schmidt’s men with a 4-1 victory over Rio Ave and a 3-0 triumph against Gil Vicente among their results in that run.
Toulouse finished second in their Europa League group to secure their place in the playoffs. They only lost once in six matches and can count a 2-1 victory over Premier League giants Liverpool among their results in that run.
It has been mostly erratic for Toulouse since the end of the Europa League group stage having picked up just three wins in their last nine matches across all competitions. Carles Martinez’s men head into Thursday’s clash off the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Nantes in a Ligue 1 fixture last weekend.
A small positive for Toulouse ahead of their trip to the Estadio da Luz is that they appear to be doing better on their travels. They have won four of their last six away matches across all competitions.
How the bookies view it
Benfica have been installed as overwhelming favourites among the bookies with a home win priced at 4/11 by bet365. A victory for Toulouse is valued at 7/1 by William Hill while Paddy Power is offering odds of 4/1 for a draw.
Head to head
There has been only one previous meeting between both teams with Benfica claiming a 1-0 victory in a friendly back in 2011.
Players to watch
Arthur Cabral has caught the eye for Benfica in recent weeks with goals in his last four matches. The striker will be the one to watch on Thursday and is priced at 8/5 by bet365 to maintain his scoring run.
Thijs Dallinger was one of the standout players for Toulouse during the group stage of the Europa League, scoring four goals in six matches. The Dutch striker has also found the net in his last two matches and is priced at 9/2 with bet365 to maintain his scoring run.
Anything else catch the eye?
Benfica and Toulouse have quality in attack and both teams could be backed to score at 11/10 with Paddy Power. The Portuguese side saw over 3.5 goals in their last fixture and a repeat is priced at 2/1 with Betfred while Unibet is offering 3/4 on over 2.5 goals.
With Benfica expected to earn a comfortable victory and boasting multiple attacking threats, a -1 handicap could be considered at 21/20 with Unibet. They could also be backed to win both halves on Thursday at 9/4 with William Hill.
This UEFA Europa League match between Benfica and Toulouse will be played on Feb 15, 2024 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Benfica vs Toulouse prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.