- PSV hosts Benfica on Tuesday, August 24th at 3:00 PM EST in the second leg of the final Champions League qualifying round
- In the first leg, the hosts fell to Benfica in Portugal by a score of 2-1, thanks to two first-half goals from Rafa Silva and Julian Weigl
- Get the odds, our analysis and betting prediction below
Firstly, Champions League qualifying resumes this week as PSV takes on Benfica at the Philips Stadion in the second leg of their playoff fixture. At this point in qualifying, 12 teams remain, meaning the six playoff victors will advance to the Champions League group stage. In turn, all of the losers will be dropped down into the Europa League group stage.
PSV and Benfica managed to get to this point in qualifying through the League Path. This specific path represents teams that were not champions of their respective leagues, but also did not immediately qualify for the group stage. For reference, last year Benfica finished in third place of Liga NOS, while PSV finished 16 points behind Ajax, resulting in second place of the Eredivisie.
PSV vs Benfica Odds
|PSV vs Benfica||PSV -0.5 (-120) | BEN +0.5 (-135)||PSV -105 | BEN +265 | DRAW +265||Ov 2.5 (-120) | Un 2.5 (-105)|
Odds as of Aug 22 at DraftKings
Furthermore, in the last round of qualifying, PSV and Benfica respectively took down Midtjylland and Spartak Moscow on similar 4-0 score lines. However, the first leg of this draw was won by Benfica at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, a place the Eagles love to play. In fact, last year in Liga NOS, they only lost twice at home across 17 matches, making this result a little bit more understandable.
Nonetheless, PSV Eindhoven are favored in the second leg, and for good reason. The red-and-whites were a bit sloppy in the first half of the reverse fixture, conceding twice before halftime. However, Cody Gakpo brought one back early in the second half and statistically, these sides were quite even by the end of the 90 minutes. Roger Schmidt’s side is viscous on the attack, so expect them to challenge Benfica’s stingy defense in this second leg.
Benfica Can Advance on a Draw
By no means is this match already decided. Benfica are traveling to a tough environment and one that PSV shines at. Their Dutch opponents have a scintillating offense, which was on display against Cambuur this weekend in the Eredivisie. Davy Propper, Eran Zahavi, Noni Madueke and Olivier Boscagli all put their names on the scoresheet in what was a great team performance. The side was also extremely rotated, just showing the depth of creativity PSV have.
However, the issue with this game is that all Benfica need is a draw to advance to the Champions League group stages. PSV can have the best offense in the world, but, Benfica are a side that know how to see a game out and keep a narrow scoreline hanging in the balance. As a matter of fact, you can say this club really just hates losing. Benfica’s last defeat came in the Taca de Portugal final, at the hands of Braga. This was also a match where they played a man down for over 70 minutes.
Away rule or not, this is a 𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗴𝗼𝗮𝗹!
— PSV (@PSV) August 20, 2021
In the new campaign, they are still yet to see anything except victory, only conceding two goals in the process. With that being said, I think PSV will challenge them in this match. But, to get anything more than a draw will be extremely difficult.
Imperative Match for Lucas Verissimo and Nicolas Otamendi
When PSV inevitably do go on the attack, it will be the responsibility of Lucas Verissimo and Nicolas Otamendi to stop them. Benfica like to play with three at the back and these two players represent the right side and center of that trio. Cody Gakpo lines up on the right for PSV which could make him a direct target for Verissimo.
— SL Benfica (@slbenfica_en) August 21, 2021
Additionally, Noni Madueke is another young attacker that Otamendi will have to track carefully in the middle.
PSV vs Benfica Domestic Statistics
|3||Goals per game||2|
|22||Shots per game||16|
Historically, these sides have played twice before in a two-legged Europa League contest ten years ago. Benfica came out on top with an aggregate score of 6-3, winning the first tie, and drawing the second in Eindhoven.
PSV vs Benfica Best Bet
Overall, the best bet in this match is a replication of the second leg in 2011, a draw with odds of +265. This bet has great value, and I do think PSV will attack and push Benfica to their limits. However, there is no foreseeable way I find them beating the Eagles after their strong first leg performance.
Pick: Draw (+265)