Celtic – Benfica 19.09.2012
Scottish champions Celtic enter the game low on spirits following the embarrassing defeat to St Johnston, whereas Benfica arrive in confident mood after recording two comfortable victories in Primeira Liga.
Scottish football has been receiving some heavy blows over the last few years and Celtic have been indirectly suffering in the process. Poor financial situation forced the club into selling first team regulars whenever someone would offer a bit of money, while signing talented, but yet unproven players to replace them. Such transfer policy has been hurting the team of late given that the Bhoys squad keep undergoing major changes transfer window after transfer window, so no wonder the results are far from impressive. Celtic may have beaten Helsinki and Helsingborg to reach Champions League group stages, but they have been largely struggling in weak Scottish Premier League, having won just 2 of first 5 games. With the Bhoys traditionally struggling against technically superior sides, one could be forgiven for not placing their money on the hosts here.
Match: Celtic – Benfica 20.45h
League: Champions League
Our prediction: Away Win Odds: 2.10
Benfica are slowly becoming a real force in European football, or it’s better to say the club are returning to old glory days given that they were once one of world’s strongest teams. The Eagles have finally left the shade of bitter rivals Porto and their European campaign last term was thoroughly impressive. After beating Manchester United to the first place in their Champions League group, the Portuguese side eliminated Zenit, before completely outplaying Chelsea in two games only to suffer an unfortunate exit. The team have continued with strong performances this season despite staying without Javi Garcia and Axel Witsel, with eight goals scored and none conceded in last two games proving Benfica are close to their top form.
Benfica have a way better team and they play much stronger games in their league, so in my opinion they have more chanses to win tonight.