Aykut Kocaman's men take a slender lead into tonight's second leg tie but our expert is backing Jorge Jesus' men to claim victory here and qualifyPortuguese league leaders Benfica will be looking to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit when they play host to Turkish outfit Fenerbahce in the Europa League semi-final second leg at Estadio da Luz on Thursday night.
Jorge Jesus’ side may trail from last week’s first leg tie in Turkey but Thursday’s hosts are available at just 4/9 (1.44) with William Hill to win on home soil.
Aykut Kocaman’s side are chalked up at a chunky 7/1 (8.0) with William Hill to claim victory in Lisbon on Thursday night while the same firm go 3/1 (4.0) that the match ends level.
Both sides are priced up at 10/11 (1.91) with William Hill to qualify for the competition’s showpiece final at Amsterdam ArenA on May 15th and, with so much at stake, tensions are sure to be running high here.
If the Eagles are to overturn the deficit, they are likely to be reliant on their dangerous South American strike partnership of Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo Lima.
Between them, the duo have scored 46 goals for Benfica in all competitions this term and there is no doubt that they pose a serious threat to Fenerbahce’s hopes of progressing to the final.
Cardozo is chalked up at 4/1 (5.0) with William Hill to break the deadlock on Thursday while the same firm offer punters a special “headline offer” of 6/4 (2.50) that the Paraguayan striker scores at any time in a victory for the home side.
Brazilian striker Lima has scored six goals in his last eight matches for the Eagles and the 29-year-old is excellent value at 5/1 (6.0) with William Hill to open the scoring for Jorge Jesus’ men.
Benfica, though, must be wary of the threat posed by Aykut Kocaman’s side and Senegalese striker Moussa Sow, who has scored 15 league goals for Fenerbahce this term, is available at 8/1 (9.0) with William Hill to score first.
Former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt is subject of William Hill’s “headline offer” for Fenerbahce backers, with the odds compilers offering a chunky 16/1 (17.0) that the Netherlands international hits the net at any time in an away win.
Fenerbahce proved last week that they are capable of springing a surprise should Jorge Jesus’ men fail to hit top form but the Portuguese side should have too much firepower for their opponents here.
It is worth noting that only Barcelona have beaten Benfica on home soil this season and, with such solid home form, they can be trusted at 10/11 (1.91) with William Hill to qualify for the Europa League final.
Those looking to back bigger prices should snap up the 5/1 (6.0) quote from the same firm for the in-form Lima to bag the opening goal of what promises to be an absorbing contest.
|Benfica to qualify at 10/11 (1.91) with William Hill
||Lima to score first at 5/1 (6.0) with William Hill
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter
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