Liverpool vs Benfica Champions League Prediction, Odds, Picks
- Liverpool have a healthy aggregate lead after a 3-1 win in Portugal last week
- Benfica have a mountain to climb and will need to score early to have a chance
- This should be another comfortable evening for Jurgen Klopp and his players
Liverpool vs Benfica Odds
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Liverpool vs Benfica Pick
Back Liverpool to win and both teams to score in the Caesars sportsbook.
The Reds are in an excellent position and should emerge victorious at Anfield, but Benfica can get on the scoresheet once again.
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Liverpool in Comfortable Position at Midway Point of the Tie
Jurgen Klopp would never admit it in public, but deep down he would have been delighted that Liverpool was paired with Benfica in the quarter-final draw. The Portuguese side did well to beat Ajax in the last round, but this is by no means a vintage Benfica team.
They currently sit a distant third in the Premier Liga table, with Porto set to win the title and Sporting CP secure in second. What is more, they are under the tutelage of a caretaker manager in Nelson Verissimo, who replaced Jorge Jesus in the dugout before the turn of the year.
Even so, it was important that Liverpool did not underestimate Benfica in the first leg. They were fully focused on the task at hand at the Estadio da Luz and turned in a highly professional performance, winning 3-1 thanks to goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane, and Luis Diaz. The Reds had a bit of a wobble after Darwin Nunez halved the deficit early in the second half, but they eventually steadied themselves and Diaz’s strike in the 87th minute gave them a vital two-goal cushion to take to Anfield.
Liverpool followed that victory up with a 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Sunday. It was a fabulous game that underlined why the two teams are regarded as the best in Europe. Liverpool’s failure to emerge victoriously gives City the edge in the race for the Premier League title, although there is still plenty of soccer left to be played.
Liverpool will put their title ambitions on hold for a week and a half with an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City to come after the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final. An unprecedented quadruple is still achievable for the Reds this term.
Benfica Needed First-leg Lead To Have Chance of Advancing
Benfica has probably missed their opportunity to cause a major upset in this tie. To stand a realistic chance of progressing, they needed to win in Lisbon.
Even then there would have been no guarantee of them entering the semi-finals, but a two-goal deficit ahead of the trip to Merseyside leaves Benfica facing a daunting task. Given the quality of the opposition, advancing from this position would surely go down as one of the most spectacular turnarounds in Champions League history.
Benfica showed in the first 20 minutes of the second half last week that they can cause Liverpool problems, but it will be much harder to get at Klopp’s men at Anfield. Keeping clean sheets has been a problem for his team in recent weeks. Benfica has registered only one shut-out in the Premier Liga since the start of February. Keeping Liverpool’s attack quiet on their patch will be incredibly difficult.
It will be interesting to see if the Benfica board decides to hand Verissimo the managerial reins permanently in the summer. Leonardo Jardim and Abel Ferreira have been touted as potential candidates to take charge ahead of the next term, but Verissimo has his supporters too.
A defeat by Liverpool on Wednesday is unlikely to change much either way.
Liverpool Should Complete the Job With a Degree of Ease
Liverpool is currently the second-favorites to win the Champions League.
No team left in the competition will relish facing them at any stage. This current team is probably the strongest of the Klopp era. Liverpool certainly has more strength in-depth than ever before. The fact that at least two of Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah, Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Diaz will be on the bench on Wednesday speaks volumes about Liverpool’s attacking quality in particular.
It is hard to see how Benfica will cope. Since the start of December, they have kept only one clean sheet away from home in the Primeira Liga – and it is safe to say the likes of Tondela, Portimonense, and Famalicao are not in Liverpool’s league.
Benfica has been more impressive going forward, though. They have scored in 27 of their 28 league games this season and have found the back of the net against Ajax, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Dynamo Kyiv, their four other opponents in the Champions League so far.
If Liverpool is winning on the night and their place in the last four is secure, they might not defend with the same level of intensity and focus. That could allow Benfica to find the back of the net. An away goal will probably not make much difference to the overall outcome, but with Nunez, Everton, and Rafa Silva, Benfica carry a threat in the final third.
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How to Watch Liverpool vs Benfica
|Liverpool vs Benfica Information|
|Teams||Liverpool vs Benfica|
|Location||Anfield, Liverpool, England|
|Time||Wednesday, 13 April 2022, 03.00 PM EDT|
|How to watch||Paramount+|