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Benfica v Chelsea Champions League Betting Odds
It does look as if Chelsea will have another uphill battle to contend with away from home. Not only are their Tuesday night opponents a formidable opposition on their home soil, but Chelsea’s away form in the Champions League this season has been very poor. The Blues haven’t won an away match in this season’s Champions League, picking up two defeats and two losses on their travels so far. They lost in Germany against Bayer Leverkusen in the knock-out stage and of course, that defensive howler out in Italy against Napoli where they lost 3-1. There is little doubt really that Chelsea are going to be stronger back at Stamford Bridge, so this is a very tough task for them. Granted, Chelsea have shaped up a bit since Andre Villas-Boas got the boot, but there is still some defensive issues for them, largely through a lack of pace at the back. The Chelsea back line will have a lot of problems trying to deal with the pace of the Benfica game. Chelsea haven’t faced Benfica before in Europe, and all of their experience against Portuguese opponents have come against Porto. Chelsea have a W4 D2 L0 record against Portuguese opponents therefore and have only won one of three out in Portugal. Chelsea have won five of their last seven Champions League quarter finals though, and this is their eighth appearance in thirteen seasons at this stage. It will need a big defensive effort on Tuesday night, to have something to take back to Stamford Bridge for Chelsea.
This is because Benfica are unbeaten in ten European home matches now, and they have rattled off eleven wins from twelve matches at home in their domestic league, scoring at a rate of three goals per game. We have seen the power of their attack, which looks very fluid, creative and quick, as they went up against Manchester United in the group stage of this year’s Champions League, and held the Red Devils to draws, both home and away. Just to add some further fuel here in reasons to back Benfica, is the fact that they have won all three of their European Cup quarter finals ties against English opposition. They have not conceded a goal at home in any of their last four home quarter final matches in Europe either. So they are the strong option at home in Lisbon, and have the ability to really cause Chelsea some problems. Chelsea battled their way past Napoli in that rousing night at Stamford Bridge in the last round, while Benfica too overcame a first leg away deficit against Russian side Zenit St Petersburg. The big difference between Benfica and Chelsea is that the Portuguese side genuinely look to have goals in them. Chelsea, well, not so much.