Benfica can pile pressure on Olympiacos with PSG victory
PSG may already be home and dry as winners of Group C, but Les Parisiens still have a huge role to play as Benifca and Olympiacos battle it out for the second qualification spot.
While Benfica’s Champions League destiny is not entirely in their own hands, the Portuguese club know victory over Paris Saint-Germain is a must to have a greater chance of qualifying for the knockout phase.
Benfica must better Olympiacos’ result against Anderlecht if they are to avoid crashing into the Europa League for a second successive season and the stats back up Jorge Jesus’ side’s claims for a much needed victory against the Ligue 1 leaders.
Last season’s Europa League runners-up have won eight of their past 12 home matches against French opposition and with PSG already having top spot wrapped up, manager Laurent Blanc is set to rotate his squad and give his fringe players a run out at the Estádio da Luz.
With this in mind expect a motivated Benfica, at evens with Ladbrokes, to have too much fire-power for the PSG second-string.
Olympiacos were on the brink of the last 16 on matchday five but a late PSG winner from Edison Cavani and a last gasp Benfica strike takes it all down to the final match.
Despite missing out two weeks ago, the Greek side are still in pole position to qualify for the knockout stages and a win against Group C strugglers Anderlecht will seal their spot in the next phase of the competition.
The Red-Whites are on a seven-match unbeaten run at home and they will be in confident mood after beating the Belgian side 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in September.
Michel’s side will have to do without the services of top scorer Kostas Mitroglou – who has scored 23 for club and country – through injury but with Javier Saviola, Kostas Manolas, Gaetan Bong and Michael Olaitan all ready to return to the starting line-up the Greeks can book their place in the knockout phase in fine style.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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