SL Benfica vs. SSC Napoli / Champions League – Second match in the Group B should be far more interesting than the in Kyiv, that will be played at the same time, given that two currently leading teams will face each other. What is a problem for both of them is fact that third-placed Besiktas has just one point fewer than they, so if the Turks triumph in Kyiv they would certainly pass further, while this match would decides then about the second team from the Group B that will go to the round of 16. There is scenario with Besiktas losing its match which means that regardless of outcome of match in Lisbon Benfica and Napoli are in the knockout phase, Napoli as first positioned given it won Benfica by 4-2 in Naples Begins: 06.12.2016 – 20:45 CET
We should mentionan option in which Benfica, in case of new defeat by Napoli and draw in Kyiv would pass further as second-positioned in the group, as it has better head-to-head score with Besiktas thanks to draw of 3-3 in Istanbul in previous, fifth round. The first match between the two teams in Lisbon ended also as a draw, which means that more goals scored away would decide in Benfica’s favour, while if Besiktas wins in Kyiv, only a victory in Naples suits the Portuguese with at least two-goal difference.
Of course that all these combinations can affect players, but we believe they have enough experience to focus solely on developments on the pitch, where their intention would be to defeat Napoli. Coach Vitore’s players occupy the leading position in the Portuguese championship, despite losing in previous round to Maritimo 2-1 away for the first time this season. That indicates they were already focusing at this match against Napoli, in which will not play injured defenders Grimaldo and Eliseu, midfielder Horta and forward Jonas.
Probable lineups SL Benfica: Ederson – Semedo, Luisao, Lindelof, Almeida – Salvio, Fejsa, Pizzi, Cervi – Guedes, Mitroglou
We have said earlier that the guests from Naples need either draw or victory in Lisbon to reach the round of 16, as they would have better head-to-head score against Benfica in case that both teams end up with the same number of points. In case of defeat they can only hope that Besitas will lose in Kyiv, given the Turks have better head-to-head score against them. If that happen the defeat at home by Besiktas would cost them dearly, which was in fact the only one in previous five rounds as they won Dynamo away and Benfica at home, drew with Besiktas in Istanbul and with the Ukrainians at home in previous round.
That was of course a big blunder for Napoli, given that if they won the match they would be on verge of reaching the knockout phase of Champions League, but anyway they still have situation under their control as all they need in Lisbon is a draw. That doesn’t mean that coach Sarri’s players will only defend against Benfica, especially as they outclassed last weekend their great rival Inter at home by even 3-0. With those three points they stay close to leading three teams. Let’s add that only injured player is forward Milik.
Probable lineups SSC Napoli: Reina – Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam – Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik – Callejon, Mertens, Insigne
SL Benfica – SSC Napoli PICK
If Beskitas loses in Kyiv both teams would reach the round of 16, although we doubt that they will rely in such outcome, which is especially true for Benfica, which lost in Naples in the second round. It is expected that Benfica will try to retaliate in the same manner in front of its fans.
Pick: Asian handicap 0 Benfica
Odds: 1.83 at bet365 (down to 1.75 can be played)