Fenerbahce vs Benfica Betting Tip and Prediction
- Updated: 14th August 2018
Fenerbahce vs Benfica – UEFA Champions League :This is an important match for Fenerbahce’s future on the new season.
And also for the finances of the club, just like for Benfica’s finances
The Turkish team, now managed by Cocu, didn’t get off to a good start on their first official match of the 2018/2019 season, losing against Benfica by 1-0 in Lisbon,
but, worse than the result, was their display, on a first half where the Turks managed to counter the offensive momentum of the Portuguese, but I believe that was more due to the demerit of Rui Vitória’s team than exactly good defensive organization from Fenerbahce.
On the 2nd half of that 1st leg, Benfica has completely dominated, but not so much on the creation of goal scoring chances, with their goal even occurring due to a good work from Salvio and Cervi, that finishes,
but with a precious help from Demirel, Fenerbahce’s goalkeeper. That way, without creating a great number of goal scoring chances,
Benfica could have perfectly gotten a more comfortable victory, pushing Fenerbahce against their ropes, keeping them on their last third for most of the 2nd half, with the first shot of the Turkish side only happening on injury time already.
On the weekend, they’ve made their debut in the Turkish Super League, on a match that went very well.
They have gotten a 2-1 victory over Bursaspor, a side that last year finished with 6 points above the relegation zone and that was the first team to score on that duel of the 1st round, right at the 16th minute.
Still, goals from Giuliano (penalty, 22nd minute) and Souza (30th) rapidly turned the scoreline around and reestablished the result that was still in the open until the final whistle.
Regarding the match against Benfica, Fenerbahçe presented the same defensive line at the back (Isla, Skrtel, Neustädter and Kaldirim),
but made some changes from the midfield forward. Souza, absent from the 1st leg at Estádio da Luz, midfielder that had a short spell at FC Porto without great success but that is a stand-out player on this Fenerbahçe for 2/3 years, formed a due on the defensive midfield with Mehmet Topal,
with the only man that stayed on the line-up from the offensive quartet used in Lisbon by Philipp Cocu being Giuliano.
On the wings, André Ayew (that also didn’t travel to Lisbon) and Baris Alici provided support to Roberto Soldado on the attacking front.
That way, Nabil Dirar, that started against Benfica, played the final minutes, having replaced the Spanish striker from the 66th minute.
Potuk warmed up a few seconds before the final whistle to replace Ayew and Mathieu Valbuene didn’t even leave the bench, so he will be at 100% physically for this 2nd leg.
Benfica is really investing hard on the new season, not only in reconquering the Portuguese title, that they’ve won 4 times in a row until the 2017/2018 season,
but also on qualifying for the Champions League’s group stage, achievement they’ve managed to accomplish for 8 consecutive seasons and that,
if they fail, will have a great impact not only on the sporting context of the club and on the morale of their supporters,
but also – and maybe even more – on the finances of a club that has already invested more than last season to win the national title again and that intends to invest a bit more, in case they qualify onto the Champions League’s group stage.
I’ve already described the first leg above, with Benfica being weak on the 1st half, with both teams having low rhythm and the defences being better than the attacks, and only 1 good chance wasted by Ferreyra, who was in good position to score or assist Grimaldo.
On the 2nd half, the Eagles completely slaughtered them, pushing Fenerbahçe against the ropes looking for a win and the 2-0 that ended up not coming.
On their debut in the league, they’ve gotten a 3-2 victory over Vitória de Guimarães, that promise to make a good season and fight seriously for qualification onto the European competitions.
It was a luxurious first half, with a very interesting dynamic on the attack, but some defensive permeability that was still unseen.
Still, Benfica comes into half-time winning by 3-0 with a hat-trick from Pizzi, and dominates the match well until the 70th minute, without forcing to reach the 4-0 but controlling the initiatives well.
Rui Vitória then takes Fejsa off and the team completely loses its balance.
The visitors score the 3-1 at the 76th minute and the 3-2 at the 81st minute and the stadium froze with the expectation of what was going to happen.
With the 2 goals conceded, Benfica “woke up” and took the initiative again, taking the ball far away from their box, preventing Vitória from creating danger again and getting close to the 3-3.
Everything points towards Rui Vitória utilizing the same starting line-up that he used on the first 2 official matches, with Odysseas Vlachodimos in goal,
the defence with André Almeida, Rúben Dias, Jardel and Grimaldo, midfield in triangle with Fejsa, Gedson and Pizzi and an attack guided laterally by Salvio and Cervi, on the support to Ferreyra (here the doubt will be if he will utilize Castillo,
with the certainty that Jonas won’t play, because he was out of the list of called-up players, and I really believe that the Chilean might start, due to the more combative style Benfica will have to adopt and I see Castillo with more appropriate characteristics for this duel, than exactly Ferreyra).
If on the encounter of a week ago, in Lisbon, Fenerbahçe held on as hard as they could to the 0-0 and even looked to try and lose by 1-0 only, instead of taking a bit more risks and try to get the 1-1 – especially on the first half,
where the time wasted by the Turks with every throw-in or goal kick being terrifying. Now in Istanbul, Cocu’s team will have to adopt a different playstyle and, consequentially, Benfica will also do it, on a strategy that I believe will result for Vitória’s men.
It is certain that Ayew, Souza and Soldado should start, something that didn’t happen in Lisbon and Fenerbahçe’s match should be more fluid on the high zone of construction.
However, Benfica has proven to be strong with a low block and playing on the counter-attack in the pre-season friendlies against teams better than this Fenerbahçe
and the Eagles’ players were already more or less the ones that will play here, especially the midfield trio, that has been the recurring choice since the start of the pre-season almost, to gain routines for these first official encounters.
Fenerbahce vs Benfica – Betting Tip and Prediction:
I have some doubts that Gedson Fenrandes will be able to adapt himself to the hard environment that will be felt in Turkey. He is a youngster that has been responding very well to the demand presented and with the potential to reach the top.
However, he has 19 years of age and this will be his first “true test”, that so far has played 2 official matches at home, where if he makes a wrong pass or loses the ball, the crowd applauds him and cheers him on.
Benfica will need a good performance from Fejsa, as he usually does, and a Pizzi providing more support to the 2 more defensive midfielders.
However, with Cervi and Salvio rising in terms of form and confidence, without forgetting the great advances of Grimaldo on the left and the danger that Benfica might create taking advantage of the space on the back of the Turkish defence,
I believe that the Eagles have conditions to advance in this tie and not with a loss by the minimum margin and with goal(s) scored, result that serves their interests.
The match that I envision will give Benfica chances to create opportunities and take advantage of the space and with the intervenients they have for those moments,
they will hardly not score some goals in this match and ensure their qualification onto the Champions League’s play-offs.
I also expect a match with a lower rhythm and very cautious at the start. Cocu showed in Lisbon that he doesn’t enjoy taking risks and that knows that if he starts off putting a lot of pressure and concedes first,
he will have to turn from 0-1 to 3-1 and not concede any more, so I believe on a first half similar to the 1st leg’s one, which means I see value on a 2nd half with more goals than the 2nd half of the 1st leg.
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