Benfica-AZ Betting Preview: Watertight hosts to win to nil

Having successfully tipped the Aguias to win to nil in Alkmaar last week, Al Hain-Cole expects them to serve up a repeat performance in front of their own fans this evening
AZ take on the imposing challenge of becoming the first away team to come out on top at Stadio da Luz when they take on Benfica in Thursday's Europa League clash.

Having lost the home leg 1-0, Dick Advocaat's men are heavy 8/1 (9.00) outsiders with William Hill to record a famous win that could see them through to the semi-finals.

With 17 wins and five draws to their name in 22 competitive fixtures on home turf this campaign, the hosts are clear 4/11 (1.36) favourites to finish the job with another victory this evening.

However, the visitors may take some encouragement from the last Europa League game on this ground when only a last-minute penalty prevented Tottenham from emerging victorious in a 2-2 draw, with odds of 7/2 (4.50) available on this one also finishing all square.

Nevertheless, the three goals scored by Spurs over the course of those two legs represent just under half the number that Os Aguias have conceded in their last 24 fixtures, with goalkeeper Jan Oblak keeping 19 clean sheets and picking the ball out of the back of the net a mere seven times in that period.

In fact, Tim Sherwood's men are the only away team to have scored at Stadio da Luz in 2014, with the hosts' backline remaining intact in all 11 of their other fixtures since the turn of the year.

These statistics are particularly daunting for an away team that has made it this far despite scoring just 11 goals in their last 12 fixtures in the competition, with their solitary strike in the last three games coming from the penalty spot against struggling Anzhi Makhachkala.

Despite ending their three-match goal drought in Sunday's 2-2 draw against the Eredivisie's bottom club Roda JC, De Kaasboeren are guaranteed to find life a lot tougher against tonight's watertight opponents, meaning odds of 11/10 (2.10) are simply not to be missed on Benfica winning to nil.

Benfica to win to nil for a 2pt stake at 11/10 (2.10) with William Hill

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.