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Benfica v Fenerbaçhe: San Kanaryalar to qualify despite defeat

| 02.02.2013

After a 1-0 victory in the first leg, Fenerbahçe have given themselves a fantastic chance of qualifying for their first ever European final.

A tense encounter at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium was settled by a solitary Egeman Korkmaz goal 18 minutes from time, with the centre half charging in to take advantage of a poor defensive header from a corner.

Those who believe lightening can strike twice will surely be tempted by the 14/1 on 1-0 Fenerbahçe, while it is a whopping 250/1 for a repeat scorecast.

With that one goal advantage, the Turkish side are currently priced at 10/11 to qualify and make it to the final in Amsterdam.

However, they should not underestimate the magnitude of the task that lying ahead. Benfica will be hoping to make San Kanaryalar rue their missed chances in the first leg, where they rattled the woodwork three times.

The Eagles have been imperious of late – their loss in Turkey was the first in 38 competitive matches -and the 9/20 to win in 90 minutes represents their chances nicely.

At home especially they have accumulated intimidating form. They are now undefeated in their last 14 Europa League matches on their own patch, scoring at an average of 3.8 goals per game. Consequently 5/6 on over 2.5 goals looks a good bet.

The sought-after Oscar Cardozo has contributed more than his fair share of those goals and four of his 16 this season have come in Europe. The Paraguayan is 10/3 to open the scoring in this fixture.

However, while Benfica have been clinical in front of the goal, Fenerbahçe will be buoyed by the fact that they are not the most solid unit at the back.

In their last nine Europa League fixtures at Estádio da Luz, the Lisbon side have only managed to keep a clean sheet once and both teams to score is available at 21/20.

Interestingly, five of those last nine clashes have resulted in a 2-1 victory for Benfica and it is 7/1 that this outcome is repeated.

In fact, 2-1 could be a popular score line in both semi-final ties, with the stats looking good in the Chelsea v Basel game and the correct score double pays £640 to the £10 stake.



Matthew Mower