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Benfica v Chelsea: Blues to claim valuable draw at Lisbon fortress

| 27.03.2012

Benfica will go into the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Chelsea brimming with confidence, and after avoiding defeat in their last ten European home games, some punters will be inclined to get behind them at 7/5.

Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea produced a superb second leg fight back to end Napoli’s tenure in the competition in the last round, and after four wins from six under their new boss, they are 21/10 to win in Portugal.

However, with Benfica drawing twice against English opposition already this season, as they progressed from the group stage ahead of Manchester United, the draw looks a good option here, also priced at 21/10.

Chelsea drew twice before losing their last two away from home in Europe this campaign, though the last time they succumbed to three consecutive away Champions League defeats was back in 2005, further strengthening their claims for a draw here.

Each of Benfica’s European stalemates this term came with both teams finding the net, as a 1-1 draw at Estadio da Luz was followed by a 2-2 result at Old Trafford, and the score draw is highly appealing at 3/1 for Tuesday’s clash.

You could alternatively back both teams to score at a shorter 8/11, whilst Chelsea, who took the lead in their away leg to Napoli, are a big 11/10 to repeat that feat here.

Juan Mata’s strike in that fixture came before the break in Naples, and the Blues are also worth looking at to score the first goal in the first half at 2/1.

Indeed, Mata himself could make a difference in this clash too, with the tricky Spaniard an interesting 8/1 to score first in the match.

Ramires and David Luiz will be making their first return to the club they won the Portuguese title with in 2010 meanwhile, and the marauding Ramires could haunt his further club by hitting the opener at 12/1.

His compatriot Luiz is always a threat with his marauding runs and bravery from set-pieces too, and could be worth an any time scorer punt at 9/1.



John Klee