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Champions League. Benfica vs Napoli. Preview

Bayern Munich host Atletico Madrid, Barcelona play Borussia Monchengladbach, while Napoli, Benfica and Besiktas will decide who will qualify for the playoffs. Yes, Champions League action is back and we are back to analyse the situation in groups with our pre-match previews

Benfica vs Napoli

Here we go with the most interesting match of the day. Both clubs have 8 points in stock and will determine who will qualify from the first place. Moreover, If Besiktas win, one of these two clubs will have to go to Europa League. It makes this battle even more promising.

Napoli currently have an advantage in personal meetings as the Italian side defeated their opponents from Portugal 4 goals to 2 in matchday 2. Benfica can pay for the mistakes that were committed in the clash with Besiktas. The Portuguese team were leading 3 goals to 0 and allowed the Turkish side to level the score.

The match will take place at Benfica’s home stadium “Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica”. Antonio Mateu Lahoz from Spain will be the responsible official to referee this game.

Head to head

Benfica and Napoli met 3 times before, with the Italian club recording two victories and losing on one occasion (3-2, 0-2, 4-2). Benfica scored 6 goals in these three matches and conceded 7.

Current form

Benfica – LWDWD

The Eagles lost to Maritimo in Primeira. This victory came as a big surprise as all the odds pointed to an easy victory for Rui Vitoria’s men. Benfica won only two of their last 5 matches as the team is not in the best form.

Napoli – WDDWD

Napoli won only two of last 5 matches, too, though Sarri’s team managed to beat Inter by all means in their most recent Serie A affair. The Neapolitans will try to show the same pace against Benfica, too.

Possible lineups

Benfica – Ederson; Semedo, Luisao, Lindelof, Almeida; Salvio, Fejsa, Pizzi, Cervi, Guedes, Mitroglou

Out: Grimaldo (abdominal muscle), André Horta (thigh), Eliseu (thigh), Jonas (foot)

Napoli – Reina, Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Allan, Diawara, Hamsik, Callejon, Insigne, Mertens

Out: Milik (knee)

Prediction

Both sides will try to commit as few mistakes as possible. Too much is on the table. Neither of the rivals will risk it all and run forward. They will have a closer eye on defensive functions, which can result to a small number of goals. My prediction is the draw, with the most possible score being 1-1.

Gevorg Loretsyan