Inter Milan vs Benfica Pick, Odds, Prediction | Champions League
Zed Jameson/MB Media/Getty Images. Pictured: Goncalo Ramos.
- Benfica vs. Inter Milan kick off their Champions League quarterfinal matchup today.
- The Portuguese league leaders are favored at home in Lisbon.
- Johnathan Wright previews the game and makes his betting pick below.
Inter Milan vs Benfica Odds
Inter Milan Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+100 / -140)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-125 / -115)|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
We’re looking for an Inter Milan vs. Benfica pick as the Portuguese Primeira Liga leaders host the Serie A powerhouse in the opening leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.
Benfica have reached this stage in the competition after knocking out Club Brugge in the round of 16 with a 7-1 aggregate win. They are yet to lose in this year’s Champions League competition, recording a six-win and two-draw record.
Inter Milan, on the other hand, crawled into this fixture after successfully holding off another top Portugal side, FC Porto, securing a one-goal aggregate series victory in a tight-knit affair.
Will Benfica continue their unbeaten Champions League form, or will Inter be able to turn this into another old-school style series and cause an upset on the road?
Here is our breakdown of the Benfica vs. Inter Milan preview.
Inter Milan Need a Change in Scoring Fortune
Inter can also claim they were looking ahead to Tuesday’s matchup and that was the reason they failed to secure three points against Salernitana, who are 15th in Serie A. However, that excuse does not explain how they have gone winless in six consecutive outings.
They were arguably a worse team against FC Porto in the round of 16, losing the xG battle in both legs. And now, after four straight league games without a win, they have dropped down to fifth place in Serie A.
Defensively, Inter have been fine. They have conceded six goals and earned one clean sheet during their six-game winless run. It is the offense that has struggled for the Nerazzurri. As shared by soccer expert BJ Cunningham on the Wondergoal podcast, Milan have scored just two goals off of 10.6 xG in their last four Serie A matches.
That said, for everything that is going wrong for Simone Inzaghi’s side during this slump, some of it can be be pinned simply on bad luck and that positive regression should be on the horizon.
Benfica Benefit From Home-Field Advantage
Benfica are coming off their first home loss in 20 matches. Coincidentally, that loss came against FC Porto.
We can look that 2-1 defeat in two ways. You can say Benfica were looking ahead to Tuesday’s match and they let their foot off the gas a bit, or you can say this was the best competition Benfica have faced all year and they were vulnerable.
I am leaning toward the former. Benfica have been a winning machine under manager Roger Schmidt this season. They lead the Primeira Liga with 23 wins in 27 matches and have a +52 goal differential. And while this Porto defeat snapped their 20-game unbeaten streak at home, they still found the back of the net, extending their home goal-scoring streak to 21 successive games across all competitions.
Their impressive goal-scoring run comes down to the strong form of their frontline players. Goncalo Ramos has 17 goals in 23 league games, while Joao Mario has 17 goals in 26 league games.
The Eagles are also strong defensively. Benfica have allowed only 0.71 goals a match across all competitions this season and have recorded four clean sheets in their last seven matches.
Benfica vs Inter Milan Pick
Inter Milan’s scoring fortune could suddenly change in any match, with talented players like Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez leading the way.
However, I do not see it happening on Tuesday. Benfica are in much better form and will have a home crowd boost against Milan, who will be traveling for the third consecutive match.
Even if Inzaghi follows the conservative strategy that he did in the round of 16, Benfica have shown they are talented enough to break through any defense and capitalize on chances. They have scored the second-most goals in the Champions League this season, second to just Napoli.
Back Benfica to get the job done in front of their home crowd yet again.
Pick: Benfica ML (+120)
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