The second best team in Russia plays the third best in Portugal, as Spartak Moscow meet Benfica in Champions League qualification. Both clubs are entering qualifying at this stage, with one more round to go in order to secure a spot in the group stage.
Where and when: Otkritie Arena – 4 August, kick-off 18:00
Where you can see Spartak Moscow vs. Benfica: N/A
Last time: These clubs last crossed paths in the group stages of the Champions League back in 2012. Both teams won at home, as Spartak finished bottom and Benfica went into the Europa League after finishing third.
Spartak Moscow v Benfica Predictions and Preview
The first leg of this Champions League qualifier is crucial, as Spartak Moscow and Benfica aim to make a strong start in their bid to reach the play-off round. The Portuguese outfit have the greater European experience over recent years, and will hope to turn that to their advantage here.
Benfica reached the group stages of the Champions League 10 years in a row prior to last season’s failure in the third qualifying round. The Eagles went all the way to the quarter-finals as recently as 2016, while they also finished as runners-up in the Europa League twice in a row in 2013 and 2014.
The Reds have real European pedigree, but their third-place finish behind Sporting Lisbon and Porto in last season’s Primeira Liga leaves them needing to qualify for the Champions League group stage. Spartak have only made the groups twice in the last decade, losing in the third qualifying round on their last attempt in 2018.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Both teams not to score
Benfica to win 2-0
Draw/Benfica, half time/full time
Spartak do have an advantage in terms of competitive action this season though, playing two Premier League fixtures prior to this game. Benfica, on the other hand, don’t begin their league campaign until next weekend, while they’ve seen two of their last four friendly fixtures against Gent and Boavista cancelled.
Despite that, and the fact that they are playing away from home, Jorge Jesus’s side are the 17/13 favourites in these Spartak Moscow v Benfica predictions. You can back Portuguese coach Rui Vitoria’s Spartak at 11/5, while the draw is available at 23/10 with William Hill. That would certainly leave the tie finely poised ahead of the return at the Estadio da Luz next week.
One to watch for Spartak Moscow: Jordan Larsson has shown he’s inherited his father’s goalscoring knack, top scoring for Spartak in the Premier League last season with 15 goals in 29 appearances. He’s worth your attention in the first scorer market on Wednesday.
One to watch for Benfica: Haris Seferovic was the Reds’ top scorer last term, bagging 22 goals in 31 appearances. He’s a handful when leading the line and another man to look out for in the first goalscorer odds for this game.
Long shot: Benfica won 2-0 the last time these clubs played. That may have been on home soil, but the Eagles are 11/1 to win by the same margin in this game. If you want bigger odds in these Spartak Moscow v Benfica tips, try adding Seferovic as the opening goalscorer in a 2-0 scorecast.