PSV and Benfica will clash at Philips Stadium on Tuesday, August 24, in the final round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers. The first leg finished 2-1 in favour of the Portuguese side, who now travel up north, looking to seal the deal with a win or a draw.
PSV vs Benfica
When: Tuesday, August 24 – 21:00 CEST
Where: Philips Stadium in Eindhoven, Netherlands
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 18°C
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SLO)
Who will get to play in the 2021-22 Champions League group stage – PSV or Benfica? We will find out the answer tonight when the two play the second leg of the qualification doubleheader. The first part of the PSV vs Benfica saga finished in favour of the Portuguese team, who will look to seal the deal tonight in Eindhoven.
The first leg was played in Lisbon, at Estádio da Luz, where Benfica won 2-1. This time, the matchup moves to the Netherlands. With the support of their fans, PSV will try to overcome the 1-goal deficit; the big question is whether they achieve their plan?
PSV to Go with the Usual Starting XI
The PSV boss Roger Schmidt made changes for the game with Cambuur in the Dutch Eredivisie, which worked very well for his team. PSV ended up winning that game 4-1; however, it’s very likely that Schmidt will return to the standard formation tonight, not wanting to risk anything.
That said, we will probably see all of PSV’s biggest stars in the starting eleven – Eran Zahavi, Noni Madueke, Mario Gotze, Cody Gakupo, and others.
These guys indeed have the talent for the Champions League, and with the help of their supporters, it’s only reasonable to expect them to play top football this evening. The trouble is that the same can be said about Benfica players.
PSV’s loss against Benfica in the first leg was their first defeat since March (0-2 against AZ Alkmaar). They have since played 19 games (15-3-1) and have recently won against Galatasaray (5-1, 2-1) and Ajax (4-0).
Benfica Want Back in the Champions League
After missing out on the Champions League action last year, Benfica want to get back there. This team arguably belongs in the elite club competition, evidence being that they’ve played there 11 times in the past 15 seasons.
The Portuguese heavyweight also has a pretty impressive squad this season, with such big names as Julian Weigl, Nicolas Otamendi, Rafa Silva, etc. But, unfortunately, not all of Benfica’s best players are going to feature in this game. Benfica will miss Jan Vertonghen, Haris Seferovic, and Ferro due to injuries.
Nevertheless, Benfica’s boss has plenty of backups to choose from. We will probably see him going with a 3-4-3 formation, picking his strongest available XI. Those guys had plenty of time to rest, as in the game against Gil Vicente in Portuguese Primeira, Benfica’s manager made some extensive squad rotations.
Still, even with plenty of new faces on the pitch, Benfica had no problems winning that game 2-0.
With that victory, the Eagles are now undefeated across their last 13 outings. That stretch includes wins against Spartak Moscow (0-2, 0-2), Moreirense (2-1), Arouca (2-0), and the aforementioned 2-0 victory against Gli Vincente.
Benfica’s last defeat happened in May, in the Taca de Portugal finals, where they lost against Braga (0-2). If we ignore that defeat, Benfica are without a loss since April 2021 (17-3-0).
PSV vs Benfica Betting Pick
Thanks to a 2-1 lead from the first leg, Benfica don’t have to worry about winning the game. Instead, they just need to avoid losing to book the ticket to the Champions League. What this means is that PSV will be on the front foot, which, in turn, will leave room for Benfica’s counterattacks.
Knowing how fast and talented Benfica’s forwards are (e.g., Pizzi, Meite, Yaremchuk, etc.), we can see them scoring a couple. Will that be enough for a win – we can’t say. However, we do believe Benfica will not lose tonight.
Pick: Benfica +0.50 AH – 1.93 at Unibet, 1.90 at Pinnacle
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