Benfica vs Ajax
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 7 November 2018
Kick-off: 21:00 CET
Benfica came very close to leaving Amsterdam undefeated two weeks ago, but an added-time deflected shot gave Ajax all three points. The Portuguese side are left on three from as many games, with their back against the wall in this match. Any other result but a win, will significantly limit their chances of finishing in the top-2. To make matters worse, they lost both games in their championship since then, by a total score of 1-5(!). Just last Friday they lost 1-3 to Moreirense(!). They are fourth there, on 17 points from nine matches. Vlachodimos, André Almeida, Rúben Dias, Jardel, Grimaldo, Fejsa, Pizzi, Gedson, Salvio, Rafa, and Jonas should start. Seferović was doubtful up until 24 hours before kick-off, because of a hamstring problem.
Mazraoui’s added-time goal was of pure goal for Ajax two weeks ago. They are on seven points from three matches in the group, co-leading with Bayern Munich. A draw won’t be a bad result for them in Lisbon. Onana, Tagliafico, Blind, De Ligt, Mazraoui, De Jong, Schöne, Van de Beek, Tadić, Dolberg, and Ziyech should be the first 11. Bandé (calf), and Veltman (knee) are out. Ajax have won eight of their last nine matches, and if you think that’s impressive, do know that they kept a clean sheet in all eight wins(!). The game they didn’t win, was a 1-1 draw in Germany, with Bayern Munich. They’ve lost just once since the start of the season, 3-0 at PSV Eindhoven, their only… black hole thus far. Despite their impressive numbers, they are second in their championship, five whole points behind leaders PSV.
Previous five matches:
Benfica vs Moreirense 1-3
Belenenses vs Benfica 2-0
Ajax vs Benfica 1-0
Sertanense vs Benfica 0-3
Benfica vs Porto 1-0
Ajax vs Willem 2-0
Ajax vs Go Ahead Eagles 3-0
Ajax vs Feyenoord 3-0
Ajax vs Benfica 1-0
Heerenveen vs Ajax 0-4
Benfica’s next game is at Tondela, on Sunday (Portugal championship). Same day, Ajax, will be visiting Excelsior (Netherlands championship).
Benfica vs Ajax: Head to head Stats
Benfica have hosted Ajax twice before; they lost 1-3 in 1969, and drew without goals in 1972.
Benfica vs Ajax: Prediction
I’m backing the visitors to leave Lisbon with at least a point.
Benfica vs Ajax: Betting Tips
Ajax’s win in “draw no bet” is at 2.00, and their double chance at 1.55. Unlike two weeks ago, this game should have more goals, partly because Benfica are with their back against the wall, they must win this one. “Both teams to score” is at 1.66. Last but not least, “Ajax and over 2.5 goals” pays 4.50, and suits my 1-2 hunch.