Borussia Dortmund vs Benfica Prediction, Preview, Betting Tips & Lineups
Borussia Dortmund takes on the Portuguese title-holders Benfica for a second decisive leg in the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League Round of 16. Only one among Borussia Dortmund and Benfica can find a place at the Champions League quarter-final draw in Nyon, which is set to take place later this month – on 17 March.
H2H Stats – Borussia Dortmund vs Benfica: First Champions League 1/8 final between Benfica and Borussia Dortmund was on the 2017 Valentine’s Day (14 February) when both sides met at the “Estádio da Luz” in Portuguese capital Lisbon. Despite an obvious domination and more created scoring chances by the German side, “Die Borussen” are trailing before round two at home turf. Borussia Dortmund surely regrets about all the unrealized opportunities including a missed penalty by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in second-half of the match.
In the meantime Benfica showed enviable efficiency and Konstantinos Mitroglou once more proved his killer instinct. Greek striker was at the right place and his lethal finishing was key to realize the only clear chance which Portuguese champions had, when Mitroglou scored in opening second-half minutes.
Thus Benfica enjoys to a superb outcome after the first leg and mostly by fact “Eagles” are flying to Germany with a clean sheet.
Champions League: Borussia Dortmund vs Benfica 08.03.2017
Borussia Dortmund scored an unmatched amount of 21 goals in six group stage games but Thomas Tuchel’s men wasted few great scoring opportunities which can eventually cost them much. Circumstances here require better attacking performance but mostly more concentration in defense, since a goal for Benfica means Dortmund must score at least three.
When both clubs have met in the 1963/64 European Champion Clubs’ Cup first round Benfica also took a goal lead after first leg in Lisbon (2-1), but Borussia Dortmund prevailed after a crushing 5-0 victory in Germany. A fact that surely boosts Dortmund’s confidence with extra fire and “The Black and Yellows” can draw even bigger inspiration by their solid record home record over visitors from Portugal. Indeed, Borussia Dortmund have won all five of their previous home matches against Portuguese opposition and this includes a 1-0 win over Benfica’s domestic rivals Sporting CP earlier in the Champions League season.
If we rewind around an year ago we will find another successful encounter with a Portuguese side – Dortmund eliminated Porto at the last season’s UEFA Europa League 1/16 finals.
However, Benfica is another character and Portuguese champions have different mentality with relatively stable defensive line. We do not expect anything else from Rui Vitoria’s approach, not after such a result in previous match.
Probably we won’t surprise you if we note that “Eagles” from Lisbon are topping the Portuguese Primeira Liga, where Benfica is with a point above Porto. Meanwhile, Rui Vitoria’s men are in mood and will claim one of the last eight UEFA Champions League positions after seven consecutive victories on different fronts.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Borussia Dortmund impressed with a 6-2 win vs another Champions League Round of 16 member – Bayer Leverkusen. That happened on Saturday afternoon when Dortmund won third successive Bundesliga fixture but they are still third in the standings, having 13 points less from leaders Bayern Munich and 6 from a second-placed RB Leipzig.
Apart from a staggering weekend result and overall 12 goals in last three Bundesliga fixtures, Thomas Tuchel suffered two blows in past week. First of all it has been revealed that the 2014 FIFA World Cup winning goal scorer Mario Götze suffers from a metabolic disorder diagnosed as myopathy. This will leave him out of any professional football activities for unspecified period and even if we consider that Götze was far from his best days, he could always been an option as a sharp attacker. Moreover, another attacking player in face of Marco Reus suffered a muscle fibre injury in last weekend’s match vs Leverkusen as a result of he has been substituted before the half-time whistle.
These injuries increase the number of absentees in Borussia Dortmund where we also find a midfield trio – Sven Bender, Nuri Sahin and Sebastian Rode. Nevertheless, Thomas Tuchel can be pleased with his team effort and we doubt Borussia Dortmund’s boss is willing to rotate. Even if this means captain Marcel Schmelzer will remain on the bench again. Presence of Raphaël Guerreiro as a left wing-back seems to be really productive and also leaves space in midfield for a duo between Gonzalo Castro and Julian Weigl.
Christian Pulisic was the one who replaced Reus against Leverkusen and he had own impact over the final score – by scoring a goal and assisting to Raphaël Guerreiro, who scored last goal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who netted twice vs Bayer Leverkusen and scored four goals in last two Bundesliga rounds should represent biggest threat to Benfica’s defense. The Gabonese striker is determined to make up for a missed penalty in Portugal and he will receive strong support from second position, where Ousmane Dembele hints to be in-form as well.
Benfica heads to Germany after a narrow success on Saturday night and we may expect few changes compared with squad against Feirense.
Right defender Nelson Semedo will be reintroduced in the starting XI as he missed win over Feirense due to suspension, while left-back Alex Grimaldo is close to return. Anyway, Grimaldo needs serious time to regain his form and match fitness so even if he travels to Dortmund, it’s absurd to have him in the starting lineups. His last start was on 1 November when Benfica won against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League group stage, meaning he didn’t played a single game for more than four months.
Experienced Eliseu does decent work at the left-back and we expect him as a starter.
Central midfielder Lubomir Fejsa is another player who is a doubt because of an ankle injury, whilst winter signing Filipe Augusto misses out for sure.
Plus for Rui Vitoria is returning of Andrija Zivkovic who was suspended in the first leg and expectations are he will push from the wing. Other players who compete for starting positions behind the striker are Rafa Silva, Franco Cervi, Jonas, Toto Salvio, André Carrillo, while Kostas Mitroglou seems to be without an alternative as a central forward. Greek striker, who owns a German citizenship as well, found the net in six consecutive games prior last round’s win and also scored 18 goals in his last 18 appearances. Mitroglou basically threatens Borussia Dortmund’s defense the same way as Aubameyang is expected to put Benfica’s defenders under pressure.
Borussia Dortmund vs Benfica Betting Prediction
Availability of two predators leading the attacking formations of Borussia Dortmund and Benfica can be one of the pros we would like to link with our betting prediction.
Borussia Dortmund holds greater attacking line and that’s out of question, even when players like Marco Reus and Mario Götze are sidelined. Thomas Tuchel is perfectly aware of that but he also knows his team is not as much convincing at the back. We saw the gap in the first leg, but Dortmund were pretty unfortunate up front. If they are not so unlucky in round two and they score a first-half goal, game can easily turn into a nightmare for Portuguese champions.
Rui Vitoria must call for more aggression by his squad and Benfica should find a way to survive after an early push we expect from Dortmund here.
We fancy currently suggested betting odds on “Both teams to score – Yes” and we do believe this can be a winning bet.
Venue: “Signal Iduna Park”, Dortmund.
Referee: Martin Atkinson from England.
Possible Lineups of Borussia Dortmund and Benfica
Borussia Dortmund: Roman Bürki – Marc Bartra, Sokratis, Lukasz Piszczek – Raphaël Guerreiro, Julian Weigl, Gonzalo Castro, Erik Durm – Christian Pulisic, Ousmane Dembele – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (3-4-2-1)
SL Benfica: Ederson Moraes – Eliseu, Victor Lindelöf, Luisão, Nelson Semedo – Andreas Samaris, Pizzi – Andrija Zivkovic, Rafa Silva, Toto Salvio – Kostas Mitroglou. (4-2-3-1)