A narrow 1-0 win for Bayern in the opening leg. Will it be enough? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) previews this Champions League Quarter-Final second leg.
Benfica v Bayern Munich | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport 2
A solitary goal by Arturo Vidal in the opening leg has left the outcome of this tie wide open as we look at the second leg here. Many punters and the bookmakers had Bayern as strong favourites in that match and just a 1-0 win in Germany would have disappointed handicap backers.
It feels a while now since Bayern produced a start-to-finish performance that left us foaming at the mouth and you do wonder what effect Pep Guardiola’s imminent departure has had on the team.
But then you think back that rousing comeback against Juventus and all nagging doubts are put to the back of the mind. Only Barcelona could have matched that feat and deep down in the Bayern toolbox it’s there to destroy other teams.
Benfica were a credit last week. They conceded very early in the match but managed to hold it together for the remainder of the 90 minutes and had chances of their own to upset the German side.
It’s been a magical season for the Portuguese club with 24 wins from their 29 league matches and are currently basking in a run of 20 wins from their last 22 games.
Despite Guardioa’s claims that Benfica have the best defence in Europe there are holes to pick when looking at their form. They’ve had just one clean sheet in their last six games and lost 2-1 at home to Porto earlier in the year.
Bayern also have negatives attached to their name when you look at their away record in this competition over the last three seasons under Guardiola.
Overall they’ve lost four of their last eight Champions League away matches, winning just two of them. They drew at Old Trafford at this stage in 2014 and in the following season lost at the Etihad and at Porto. This season they’ve suffered defeat at the Emirates and drew in Turin against Juventus.
With this in mind, and with the nature of the tie still finely balanced, it might be wise to side with a quiet affair here. Benfica will surely try and keep it tight initially before creeping into the game while Bayern haven’t been ones to trust in this kind of fixture. I’ll back Under 2.5 Goals at a fairly decent 5/6 with Ladbrokes.
Benfica v Bayern Munich – Under 2.5 Goals (5/6 Ladbrokes)
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