Benfica and Spartak Moscow meet in Portugal on Wednesday evening for a pivotal Group G Champions League match. Both sides are currently fighting it out with Celtic for the prized second spot, with group leaders Barcelona seemingly out of reach. Benfica are the short-priced 4/7 favourites with William Hill to claim their first win of the campaign, while Spartak can be backed at 5/1, with a draw is available at 14/5.
When the teams met a fortnight ago at the Luzhniki Stadium Spartak came out on top 2-1, which meant they leapfrogged Benfica into third spot to move within one point of second-placed Celtic. The result saw Benfica slump to the bottom of the table, with the Portuguese club struggling with just one point from their opening three games.
Simply put if Benfica lose then their hopes of qualification will be over. In previous years they have been very strong on home soil but they head into Wednesday's match having lost their previous two European matches at the Estádio da Luz, meaning Spartak will fancy their chances.
Spartak’s Champions League away form has gradually improved. A dismal run of 12 consecutive defeats on the road has been followed by three wins from their last five. In September they briefly led Barcelona at the Nou Camp, proving that they can be a threat to any team. WilliamHill Bookmakers have the Red & Whites priced at 16/1 to come away with a 2-1 win on Wednesday, which is likely to put them in second spot with two matches remaining.
The match is of vital importance to Benfica and it is absolutely essential that they come out victorious. Despite failing to win in Europe this season they will be confident of getting the result on home soil against Spartak, with the value bet a 2-1 home win at 7/1.
Benfica have struggled for both points and goals in Europe this season, with just one of each. However, on Wednesday they come up against a fragile Spartak defence - which has conceded seven goals in three games - meaning Oscar Cardozo, who has six goals in six league appearances, could be worth backing at 3/1 to open the scoring. Meanwhile Eduardo Salvio is a decent bet at 7/2 to score anytime.
With Benfica likely to go all out for the win they could find themselves open at the back, meaning goals could be on the cards for both teams. Spartak have scored in each of their last 10 European away matches and they will have their hopes pinned on Emmanuel Emenike who is priced at 2/1 to score, while Ari and Welliton have both been handed odds of 11/4 to get their names on the scoresheet.
Benfica v Spartak Moscow Tips
Tip#1: Oscar Cardozo to score first @ 3/1 with William Hill
Tip#2: Benfica to win 2-1 @ 7/1 with William Hill
Tip#3: Both teams to score @ 7/10 with William Hill
5/1 Spartak Moscow
Correct Score Odds
7/1 Benfica 1-0
15/2 Benfica 2-0
7/1 Benfica 2-1
16/1 Spartak Moscow 1-0
33/1 Spartak Moscow 2-0
16/1 Spartak Moscow 2-1
14/1 Draw 0-0
15/2 Draw 1-1
16/1 Draw 2-2
First Goalscorer Odds
3/1 Oscar Cardozo
7/2 Rodrigo Lima
5/1 Eduardo Salvio
5/1 Rodrigo Moreno
7/1 Emmanuel Emenike
7/1 Bruno Cesar Zanaki
7/1 Enzo Perez
15/2 Ola John
Odds supplied by WilliamHill.com, who offer live betting in-running for all Champions League matches.
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