Galatasaray v Benfica Betting Tip Both teams to score – 14 February 2019

Both teams to find the net in Istanbul

Europa League Tips

TurkeyGalatasaray v BenficaPortugal
Thursday 14th February 1755hrs 
Football – Europe – Europa League
Pick Both teams to score
Bookmaker Paddy Power
Odds: 4/5 (odds taken 20.40 GMT, Wednesday 13th February)

The Champions League may take centre stage this week but there are some excellent looking ties in the Europa League including this one in Istanbul as Galatasaray face Benfica – two teams who dropped into this competition having finished third in their Champions League groups.

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Galatasaray Preview

It was a pretty underwhelming Champions League campaign for the Turkish giants as they managed just four points from their six games. As disappointing as that was, it was – crucially – one more point than Lokomotiv Moscow which meant Gala could continue their European adventure in the Europa League. It’s the first time in three seasons that their participation in European competition has extended into the new year and they will be hoping to fair better than the last occasion when they were eliminated in the last-32 by Lazio. They could hardly be in better form in their attempt to do so, however, as they have won six of their last seven in all competitions and have not lost a game since their final Champions League game against Porto in December. It’s a much better run than their form in the early part of the season which was blighted by inconsistency and the main reason why they sit in second spot in the Turkish Superliga. There’s no doubt Fatih Terim will have his sights set on retaining the title his team won last season but he also knows the value of an extended run in Europe. Terim was, of course, in charge of the club when their first and only European to date back in 2000 – when this competition was known as the UEFA Cup.


Key-Facts – Galatasaray v Benfica

  • These clubs have dropped into the Europa League having finished third in their Champions League groups
  • Benfica have scored 24 goals in their last seven matches in all competitions
  • Galatasaray have not lost a game since the middle of December


Benfica Preview

Benfica’s passage to the last 32 of the Europa League is extremely similar to their opponents on Thursday having underperformed in Europe’s premier club competition. They did fare better in terms of gathering more points but finishing five points behind Ajax represented failure and was a major contributing factor to the dismissal of Rui Vitoria as manager. It brought an end to a very successful period for the club under Vitoria but what’s also similar to Gala is the demand for continued success and trophies. Bruno Lage has been installed as head coach at least until the end of the season. It’s been an inspired appointment as Benfica have really picked up the pace and narrowed the gap to leaders Porto in the Primeira Liga and in with a great chance of regaining the title they loss to that rival having won it the previous two seasons. They head to Turkey on the back of six straight wins in the league, with their most recent win being a 10-0 success – their biggest win in over 50 years. The newly appointed coach will be well aware he faces a much more difficult challenge on Thursday, however, confidence will be high.

Galatasaray v Benfica Betting Preview

This tie is one of the most anticipated of the first knockout stage of this year’s Europa League because both Galatasaray and Benfica are in such good form. It’s in contrast to what we seen from the two clubs during their Champions League campaigns but they’ve certainly made up for that of late and whilst they may not be amongst the favourites to win the competition, they’re certainly capable of going far if not springing a surprise and potentially all the way.

What’s been apparent in their recent upturn in fortunes is how much of a goalscoring threat these two teams have. Gala and Benfica are the highest scorers in their respective leagues despite both sitting in second. The hosts have scored 18 goals in their last seven games whilst their opponents have been in blistering form, scoring 24 goals in the same number of matches. Although first leg games in European competition can be tight, the strength of both these teams is in attack and in what looks like being an evenly contested tie, Gala cannot afford to be defensive in their approach so we should be in for an open game. Both defences have been suspect in Europe so far and I can see both teams finding the net in Istanbul tomorrow.