CSKA Moscow vs Benfica
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 22 November 2017
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
I bet if someone told you “four games into the group stage, one of these two will have six points and the other one will have none”, and asked you which one would be the team with the six points, CSKA Moscow or Benfica, your answer, most probably, would have been “Benfica”. And yet, here we are, mid/late November, with two games left in the group stage, and CSKA are the ones with their hopes of finishing in the top-2 still alive, thanks to those six points, three of which were earned on the opening day of the group campaign, in Lisbon. A point in this match, guarantees CSKA international football come February, in the Europa League, worst case scenario. To finish in the top-2 though, they need to do better than Basel in the last two games, as it’s the Swiss side with the advantage in case they end up level on points. Last weekend, CSKA beat SKA Khabarovsk 4-2 away from home, remaining third in Russia’s championship, seven points behind leaders Lokomotiv Moscow.
Benfica’s campaign in the group has been not just “bad”, but “shockingly bad”, and here are the numbers to prove that: no points after four matches, just one goal scored, 10 conceded. These would be “normal” numbers for a modest team on their debut at this level, but… Benfica?! Mathematically, they can still finish second, crazy as this may seem. They need to win both games (against CSKA and Basel) by… several goals, they need Manchester United to beat both Basel and CSKA, and hope that in the triple tie they will be the ones with the best goal difference, or at least the second best, so as to finish third and play Europa League football in the first half of 2018. Mathematically… Whether they are capable of staging such an impressive comeback, remains to be seen. Last weekend they beat Vitoria Setubal in a Portugal Cup match.
Previous five matches:
SKA Khabarovsk vs CSKA Moscow 2-4
Lokomotiv Moscow vs CSKA Moscow 2-2
Basel vs CSKA Moscow 1-2
Arsenal Tula vs CSKA Moscow 1-0
CSKA Moscow vs Zenit 0-0
Benfica vs Vitoria Setubal 2-0
Vitoria Guimaraes vs Benfica 1-3
Manchester United vs Benfica 2-0
Benfica vs Feirense 1-0
Desportivo Aves vs Benfica 1-3
CSKA’s next game is on Sunday, at Rubin Kazan’ (Russia Premier League). Same say, Benfica will be hosting Vitoria Setubal (Portugal Primeira Liga).
CSKA Moscow vs Benfica: Head to head Stats
CSKA have hosted Benfica once before, in 2005. They beat them 2-0 (Europa League, third round).
CSKA Moscow vs Benfica: Prediction
“Both teams to score” is the only prediction I feel comfortable making. Other than that, this is a game that I feel can go either way, despite Benfica’s pitiful record in the group so far.
CSKA Moscow vs Benfica: Betting Tips
“Both teams to score” pays 1.80. For a bit more than that, I would risk with “over 2.5 combined goals”, at 2.05 betting odds.
More UEFA Champions League betting tips and match previews:
- Spartak Moscow vs Maribor
- Besiktas vs Porto
- Monaco vs RB Leipzig
- Manchester City vs Feyenoord
- Sevilla vs Liverpool
- APOEL Nicosia vs Real Madrid
- Napoli vs Shakhtar Donetsk
- Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham
- Qarabag vs Chelsea
- Basel vs Manchester United
- Anderlecht vs Bayern Munich
- PSG vs Celtic
- Atletico Madrid vs Roma
- Juventus vs Barcelona
- Sporting vs Olympiakos