BAYERN Munich look to establish a strong first leg lead against Benfica in this Champions League Quarter-Final. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) looks at the odds.
Bayern Munich v Benfica | Tuesday 19:45 | BT Sport 2
After coming back from the brink two weeks ago against Juventus, Bayern Munich get another chance to end Pep Guardiola’s reign in style with a Quarter-Final tie against Benfica.
The visitors come into this match on an incredible run of form with 19 wins from their last 20 matches but bookmakers don’t view them as a threat here with quotes of 20/1 kicking about.
On their Champions League form this season it’s fair to assume they’ll find things tough on Tuesday night. They were drawn against one of the weaker opponents in the Last 16 in the shape of Zenit St Petersburg and managed two single goal victories to reach this stage.
Before the aggregate win over Zenit, Benfica finished second in Group C. The highlight of their group results was an outstanding win over Atletico Madrid in the Calderon but that was tempered by an away loss to Galatasaray and a draw in Kazakhstan against FC Astana. It’s not the kind of form that will have Bayern shaking in their boots.
So let’s talk about Bayern. The impending departure of manager Pep Guardiola has given the second half of their season another dimension and so far it hasn’t caused too much pain. A surprise defeat to Mainz in early-March has been the only slip up since Pep gave Manchester the eye.
Bayern’s tie with Juventus in the previous round was a battle of two of the best sides in Europe and it looked like the Bavarians might be going under when they were 4-2 down on aggregate.
Back they came though with a rousing second half and extra time performance as they spat four goals past the Italian champions to put to bed any thoughts they might go out.
That second leg was a fair representation of how Bayern Munich performed at this stage of the competition last year. Again, they were up against a Portuguese outfit and went down 3-1 in Portugal to Porto. Suddenly aware that they might be in trouble they dusted themselves down and slammed six past the hapless outfit to cruise into the last four.
So when Bayern feel buoyed all hell can break loose and it’s concerning for Benfica that the Germans have scored a mammoth 34 goals in their last seven home Champions League games.
They’ll be eager to put this tie to bed on home soil on Tuesday as their away performances in knockout rounds simply aren’t anywhere near as impressive so I’ll back them -2 on the Asian Handicap at odds against 41/40 with Bet365.
Bayern Munich v Benfica – Bayern Munich -2 Asian Handicap (41/40 Bet365)
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