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The odds for Inter vs Benfica have been taken from the FanDuel sportsbook. If you bet $5, you can get up to $150 in bonus bets!
The visitors to the San Siro will need to take risks, potentially leading to an entertaining encounter.
Back over 2.5 goals when Inter lock horns with Benfica on Wednesday. (-112)
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No one could accuse Inter of going missing on the big occasion. In fact, their problem this season has been an inability to rouse themselves when the stakes are not particularly high. Their results in the last few weeks demonstrate that issue perfectly.
It might surprise you to learn that a team on the brink of the Champions League semi-finals has won only one of its last eight matches in all competitions. That solitary victory came in the most significant match of all, as Inter ran out 2-0 winners over Benfica in the first leg of this last-eight tie.
There has been little else for the Nerazzurri to cheer of late. True, they remain alive in the Coppa Italia ahead of a semi-final second leg against Juventus. But there is no doubt Inter have underachieved in the league.
Not only have they failed to challenge for the Serie A title, which will almost certainly be won by Napoli, they could even miss out on the top four.
After a 1-0 home defeat by Monza at the weekend, Inter are two points adrift of the final Champions League qualification spot, currently occupied by their arch-rivals AC Milan.
Needless to say, any domestic inconsistencies would be forgiven many times over if Simone Inzaghi led Inter to the club’s fourth Champions League crown. The manager has been under pressure for much of the campaign, and he will therefore have taken extra enjoyment from the triumph in Lisbon.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of their 2-0 victory was the clean sheet: only five teams in Serie A have conceded more goals away from home than Inter in 2022/23. Another shut-out on Wednesday would secure their place in the semi-finals of European soccer’s premier tournament.
Belief is an intangible commodity but an essential one nonetheless. Without it, there is very little chance of Benfica pulling off a stunning comeback to reach the semi-finals.
The best online sportsbooks do not give them much of a chance - you can get odds of +1120 on the Primeira Liga leaders overturning the two-goal deficit. It is by no means likely that Benfica will eliminate Inter on Wednesday, but they must maintain faith as they make the trip to Milan.
Roger Schmidt’s side must have felt a little hard done to after the first leg. It was a pretty even game at the Estadio da Luz and, on the balance of chances created, a draw might have been the fairest outcome.
Inter were more clinical, though, and that is why they are in the position they are in. Benfica have been superb for much of this season: they are on course to win the Primeira Liga title and finished top of their Champions League group ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. But they were stung by Inzaghi’s side last time out.
“We have to win [at the San Siro], obviously it's not the best thing but we continue to believe in it. It was a balanced game, without too many chances for both teams,” Schmidt said last week.
"It's not easy, but we have an opportunity. We'll have to be careful in Milan, but we'll do our best to try and get another result."
Benfica’s confidence will not exactly have been boosted by a shock 1-0 loss to Chaves at the weekend, a result which means they have now suffered three defeats on the bounce in all competitions.
To win a league title, consistency is key. A lack of that quality has prevented Inter mounting a title tilt in Serie A this term. They have lost to Bologna, Spezia and Monza - all in the last couple of months.
Across the season as a whole, Inter have also suffered defeat by Empoli and Udinese, and dropped points against last-placed and relegation certainties Sampdoria.
They have fared pretty well in Europe, though. Losing twice to Bayern Munich in the group phase was more than made up for by a return of four points from a possible six against Barcelona, whom they finished above to qualify for the round of 16.
Inter edged out Porto 1-0 on aggregate in that round, setting up this clash with Benfica. If they make it through, Inzaghi’s side will fancy their chances of knocking out either AC Milan or Napoli in the semis, despite their domestic deficiencies.
Benfica will be obliged to play on the front foot on Wednesday. An early goal could make Inter nervous, but Schmidt’s side will need to take more and more risks as time wears on. That could ultimately play into the Nerazzurri’s hands.
Goals could be on the cards in this one - go for over 2.5 with the FanDuel sportsbook.
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Teams: Inter vs Benfica
Location: San Siro, Milan, Italy
Date and Time: Apr. 19 , 2023, 3 p.m. ET
How to Watch: Paramount+
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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