Benfica have one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals after a 2-0 first-leg victory over Club Brugge three weeks ago, leaving the Belgians with a mountain to climb in Tuesday’s second leg.
Goals from Joao Mario and David Neres gave the Primeira Liga leaders a deserved advantage to bring back to Lisbon, and since then, Roger Schmidt’s men have continued their march toward the Portuguese league title with three straight wins.
It’s a bleaker picture for Club Brugge, especially after an embarrassing 3-0 loss to KV Oostende on Friday. With just one win from their last five league games, the visitors are 21 points adrift of first-place Genk and well short of the form that earned them a spot in this first Champions League knockout round.
We break down the key news and trends in our Benfica vs Club Brugge free betting picks ahead of this Tuesday, March 7 showdown.
Benfica vs Club Brugge best odds
Benfica vs Club Brugge picks and predictions
There’s a ruthlessness to this Benfica team that suggests we’ll see plenty more of them in the Champions League this season – and I expect the hosts to take care of business here, with a two-goal advantage in their back pocket against a Club Brugge side that’s still finding its way in this competition.
Benfica have been flexing their muscles lately at both ends of the field. The 2-0 win in Brugge showcased their well-rounded game plan – and Schmidt’s team has only conceded three goals in 10 league games since the calendar flipped to 2023, with the Nicolas Otamendi-Antonio Silva partnership giving little away.
Club Brugge’s form has been faltering, so there’s every reason to foresee a Benfica shutout on Tuesday. After all, Scott Parker’s men only managed one shot on target in the first leg, and the visitors’ 4-2-3-1 formation could leave Noa Lang isolated up front.
The Belgians produced some sublime moments while qualifying for the last 16 but failed to score in their final three group games. The absence of midfield creator Andreas Skov Olsen on Tuesday is another untimely blow, with the visitors needing to score at least twice to have a chance of progressing.
With just a single loss in 23 league games, I’m counting on Benfica to deliver the goods again, winning to nil and punching their ticket for the quarterfinals in typically professional style.
My best bet: Benfica to win to nil (+137 at bet365)
Looking to do some Champions League betting? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) Get two 25% profit boosts for any Champions League bet today at DraftKings! Opt-In Now
B) Goncalo Ramos to score + Benfica to win BOOSTED to +200 (was +140) at Betway! Bet Now
*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best soccer betting sites for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Benfica vs Club Brugge side analysis
Never say never in the Champions League, but all the signs point to Benfica cruising through to the semifinals here. They haven’t lost in any competition since December 30 – and it’s hard to believe a scuffling Club Brugge side will be the team to end that run.
The odds support that logic, with Benfica heavy favorites to come out on top, just as they did in an impressive first-leg performance, where they outshot Club Brugge 14-4 and had 55% of the possession.
If you’re picking anything other than a Benfica win, the biggest reason for optimism is that the hosts really don’t need to force the issue here.
Plus, Club Brugge have happy memories of their last visit to Portugal – a shock 4-0 win over FC Porto in the group stage – though their form has slipped significantly since then.
Benfica vs Club Brugge Over/Under analysis
With my best bet, I’ve already homed in on only one of these teams finding the net on Tuesday – and it’s easy to feel good about a Benfica defense that’s conceded just 13 goals in 23 league games this season.
By contrast, the Club Brugge defense has leaked two or more goals in three of the past four outings and their shortcomings at the back were glaring in the lopsided loss to KV Oostende on Friday. Parker could shake things up in the starting lineup, with growing question marks surrounding his own future at the club.
Goncalo Ramos scored both goals in Benfica’s comfortable 2-0 win over FC Famalicao on Friday, while a Joao Mario double was too much for Vizela in their prior game. That duo has found the net a combined 35 times this season and will be a major threat again in this second leg.
Benfica have scored two or more goals in 10 of their last 11 games and, unless the hosts take an ultra-cautious approach to sitting on their two-goal edge, they should create plenty of scoring chances here.
Benfica vs Club Brugge game info
|Location:||Estadio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 7, 2023|
|Time:||3:00 p.m. ET|
Benfica vs Club Brugge key injuries
Benfica: Goncalo Guedes FW (Questionable), Julian Draxler AMC (Out), Mihailo Ristic LB (Out), Chiquinho DMC (Out).
Club Brugge: Jack Hendry CB (Questionable), Andreas Skov Olsen FWR (Out).
Benfica vs Club Brugge weather
It’s set to be a wet week in Lisbon but Tuesday should be one of the drier days, with temperatures in the low 50s at kickoff despite a chance of showers.