AEK Athens vs Benfica
UEFA Champions League
Date: Tuesday, 2 October 2018
Kick-Off at 20:00 UK / 21:00 CET
Venue: Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis (Athens).
PAOK and Benfica take on each other in a low-profile and highly-important second round clash on Tuesday evening at Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis. Both teams lost their opening matches to Ajax and Bayern Munich and a potential failure here would seriously compromise their ambitions of advancing to the last 16 round.
The Greek champions held it out away in Amsterdam only for 45 minutes, conceding three second-half goals to lose 3-0 to Dutch runners-up Ajax on the opening day. Can they improve the impression and snatch at least a point here before back-to-back games against group favourites Bayern Munich?
AEK Athens vs Benfica: Head-to-head
The Europa League draw has joined these two likes in the same group back in the 2009/10 campaign.
Both sides snatched narrow home wins on the occasion (1-0 in Lisbon and 2-1 in Athens).
Interestingly, the 2-1 loss in Athens was Benfica’s lone defeat in the group as they won the remaining five games in the process.
The Eagles lost 1-0 to Olympiacos in their lone previous visit to Greece back in the 2013/14 UCL campaign.
AEK Athens vs Benfica: Prediction
AEK raised the spirits after the 2-0 loss in the derby against PAOK. They saw off OFI 0-3 on the road on Saturday evening to maintain the third position in the league ladder. Goals came from Anastasios Bakasetas, Rodrigo Galo and Ezequiel Ponce. Interestingly, AEK kept their net untouched in remaining four games so far in the domestic league.
Benfica will enter the game in an opposite mood having failed to see off Chaves at the weekend. The Eagles allowed a stoppage-time equalizer after Rafa Silva gave them the lead on two separate occasions bagging a brace in Chaves.
The encouraging news for the head coach Rui Vitoria is the return of his talisman Jonas who came on from the bench to play the final ten minutes of the Chaves match.
AEK have already shown strength by eliminating Celtic in the qualifications. They are set as pretty big underdogs here, but we’ll go for the value and back them to stay undefeated at 1.72 odds. The alternative pick would be AEK to score a goal at 1.50.
AEK Athens vs Benfica: Bet Tips
AEK Athens or Draw @ 1.72 (8/11)
Benfica to keep a clean sheet – NO @ 1.50 (1/2).