Barcelona vs. SL Benfica
November 23, 2021 3:00 pm EDT
The Line: Over 2.5 -150, Under 2.5 +120
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Barcelona is welcoming SL Benfica to Camp Nou in round 5 of Group E of the UEFA Champions League. Barcelona is undefeated in their last 4 games, and that is good because their Champions League success is at stake. Benfica has been a bit hot and cold as of late, but they are one of the best teams in Portugal, and they have won their last 2 games.
Barcelona has played their first game under the new head coach, Xavi, and honestly, they have looked way better than a couple of weeks ago. Yes, Barcelona has won that game only 1-0, but they have created more decent chances, they have had more shots on goal, and they were more direct overall. As far as the Champions League goes, Barcelona is now in 2nd place with 6 points, which is quite curious considering they have scored only 2 goals so far in the
Champions League. Fati and Pique are the only goalscorers for Barcelona in the Champions League. I know it’s hard to replace Messi’s 30 goals per season, but they have some great players who could easily get to 15, and I think Xavi has realized that. Barcelona needs a win here, and with it, they will secure a spot in the next stage, but this game first.
Benfica is in 3rd place in the Primeira Liga right now with 28 points, but they have been probably the best team overall. Nunez has scored 3 goals for Benfica in the Champions League, and he is expected to be in the starting lineup for this game as well. Just a few weeks ago, Benfica was playing against Sporting Braga in the Primeira Liga, and they have demolished them 6-1, but this match against Barcelona will be much harder for them. With 4 points, 5 scored goals, and 9 conceded goals, Benfica is now in 3rd place in this group, and if they want to advance, they will need a win here. I know Benfica is a good team, and they have shown us that in the reverse matchup, but this is a different Barcelona than they were back then. Benfica is capable of scoring a lot of goals, and they can definitely defend well, but Barcelona is improving, ad it will be hard for Benfica to face them on the road.
Benfica has destroyed Barcelona in the reverse fixture of this match, but that was at home and when Barcelona was at their weakest. I think Benfica can get on the scoreboard, but I see Barcelona getting a win in this one.