- It’s Matchday 4 in the UEFA Champions League
- Benfica at the foot of Group G
- Lyon desperate for home win to keep up their challenge
The bottom two in UEFA Champions League Group G clash in Lyon next week on November 5, at 4:00 pm EST but both are still in with a chance of top two in this very tight group. Lyon are currently only third on goals scored and with the top two playing each other, a win for the French would see them make ground.
Lyon vs Benfica UCL Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total||Odds to Win Group G|
|Lyon||-0.5 (+106)||+106||O 2.5, 3.0 (-108)||+275|
|Benfica||+0.5 (-122)||+235||U 2.5, 3.0 (-108)||+900|
Odds taken on October 30, 2019
Lyon are favorites to win this but oddsmakers have identified there is not going to be much in it. Benfica may be bottom of the group but having won a game they are still very much in contention and have so far underperformed. This could be the game where the fightback begins.
As things stand, a defeat for the Portuguese side will make it very tricky to make top two and so don’t expect them to go gung-ho for the win. If they can pick up a point away from home they will consider themselves still very much in the hunt for the knockout stages.
Terrible Start for Benfica
In truth, the Portuguese champions are still playing catch-up after losing their opening game of the group. The visit of RB Leipzig was always going to be a big test but to have gone 2-0 down in disappointing fashion was not the start they had hoped for, and Haris Serefopvic’s late strike for Benfica was only a consolation.
Things didn’t improve in game two either when they made the difficult trip to St. Petersburg. Zenit, typically, used home advantage to turn the screw and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners, with Raul de Tomas’s 85th-minute strike again nothing more than a consolation for Benfica.
But this is a Benfica team that is full of quality technicians and they are not going to go away without a fight. In game three, with them facing early elimination from the competition, they found their best form and showed great resilience. Rafa Silva gave them an early lead that was canceled out when Memphis Depay leveled on 70 minutes, but their battling spirit shone through enough for Pizzi to grab a winner four minutes from time.
In Matchday 4, in the reverse fixture, they will need to show these same qualities.
Lyon’s Steady Progress
Lyon’s progress has been very much the opposite of Benfica’s. A win and a draw in their first two games looked to have set them up for a comfortable passage through to the knockout stages, only for the Portuguese to throw a spanner in the works (as described above). It says a lot about the quality of this group that Lyon now find themselves out of the top two.
It all began in modest fashion for the French who would have expected to beat Zenit St. Petersburg at home on Matchday 1, but after falling behind in the first-half they needed a late penalty from Depay to earn a point.
They followed this up however with a stunning 2-0 victory in Leipzig with a goal in each half from Depay (again) and Martin Terrier – a real signal intent and a shot across the bows of the other three teams in the group. This win showed exactly what they are capable of but their problem has been producing this form consistently.
This game largely boils down to which Lyon is going to turn up. If it’s the one that won in Leipzig then this has home win stamped all over it but a repeat performance from the tentative defeat in Lisbon could make this tight. The draw at +245 looks tempting here.
My pick: Lyon and Benfica to draw (+245)