Lyon vs BenficaUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Nov 5, 2019, Groupama Stadium
GROUP G was touted as the most open group in this year's Champions League and that is proving to be the case at the halfway stage with just three points separating all four sides involved.
Benfica breathed life back into their bid to reach the knockout phase when they picked up their first points of the campaign against Lyon in Lisbon last time out and the Eagles will be eyeing a repeat of that outcome in the reverse fixture in France on Tuesday night.
What's more, Benfica's first European success of the season appears to have given them a bounce domestically as they currently occupy top-spot in the Primeira Liga after a run of four consecutive victories without conceding a goal.
Lyon meanwhile have made a stuttering start to their Ligue 1 campaign and during the last international break the French giants binned Brazilian boss Sylvinho and swiftly recruited Rudi Garcia.
Garcia's appointment was met with widespread disappointment from the Lyon faithful, however, the Frenchman has picked up seven league points from the opening nine on offer to him.
Les Gones were languishing in 17th place in the French top-flight when they traveled to the Portuguese capital a fortnight ago, however, on Saturday night they found themselves in the top eight and they now appear to be on the road to recovery.
Lyon are now seeking a first home win in this seasons Champions League on Tuesday night when they go toe-to-toe with Benfica and the bookmakers make the hosts Evens (Bet 365) favourites to collect all three points at the Groupama Stadium.
The home side drew with Zenit at this venue on the opening night of the group-stages and repeat here pays 13/5 (William Hill) while Benfica are big odds-against at 29/10 to do the double over Lyon.
When these two teams last locked horns it looked set to end all square until a late howler from Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes saw Benfica midfielder Pizzi pounce to send Lyon packing.
Before that blunderer, Lyon's star-man Memphis Depay had cancelled out an early Rafa Silva strike and I fancy the Dutchman to do more damage during Tuesday nights tussle.
Depay has scored in all three of Lyon's Group G games to date and after bagging a brace at the weekend the Dutch ace looks overpriced at 9/5 (UniBet) to hit the back of the net against Benfica.
Siding with Depay in the anytime scorer market looks a safer option here given that all of Benfica's European outings this season have seen both teams score and that perhaps explains why a repeat here is as short as 8/13 (Betfred)
Furthermore, over 2.5 goals has landed in all of the Eagles games in this section so far and I like the look of that sequence continuing in France's second city at 3/4 (Boylesports)
In Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele, Lyon possess two players who are reportedly on the radar of some of the continents elite clubs, however, Garcia's side remain shaky at the back and that was evident when Ligue 1 strugglers Toulouse breached Lyon's backline twice on Saturday.
Bruno Lage's Benfica have scored in all three of their Group G games to date and they have only failed to score twice in 16 matches this season.
Yet, although Benfica are capable of making the net bulge, I can't help but be wary of the fact that they have lost nine of their last 14 fixtures outside of Portugal – winning on only three occasions – and that coupled with Lyon's record of one defeat in their last 15 European matches at home has me leaning towards Lyon here.
However, the hosts have been inconsistent this season and they have drawn their last five European matches on their own turf and with that in mind, I'm going to opt for an alternative angle by combining Lyon on the double chance alongside both teams to score at 21/20 (Bet 365) – a combination that has landed in four of Lyon's last five Champions League home matches.
This UEFA Champions League match between Lyon and Benfica will be played on Nov 5, 2019 and kick off at 20:00