15th September 2020 – 20:00, Toumba Stadium, Thessaloniki
The clash between PAOK and Benfica is one of the derbies in the 3rd round Champions League qualifiers. Both sides have the ambition to participate in the group stage, but just one of them can proceed further to the playoffs.
Match Preview & Team News
PAOK failed to defend the title in the Greek Super League as Olympiakos was more dominant. The hosts were not even close to challenging the top spot, as they remained 18 points behind their fierce rivals. A lot of draw matches cost them precious points, and the home side finished as the runner-up. Abel Ferreira’s side kicked off a new domestic campaign with a narrow 1:0 win over AEL Larissa at home ground. The hosts have already made it through one qualifying round in the Champions League as they were better than Besiktas in a 3:1 victory. It isn’t easy for any away side to play at Toumba Stadium, but this time, the stands will be empty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Benfica also finished at 2nd place in their domestic championship, Primeira Liga. The title race was much more interesting, however, Porto remained five points ahead of the Eagles. This time, the visitors have high ambitions as they were very active in the transfer market this summer. Jorge Jesus took over the bench after a fantastic success with Flamengo and brought some excellent players. Jan Verthongen, Everton, and Gabriel Nunez joined the club, while the away side may sign a couple of Flamengo’s players as well. Benfica was very efficient last season, and they should be a severe contender in the title race once again. Of course, the main goal in this period of the campaign is securing the place in the Champions League group phase.
Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction
It is going to be a very tight but exciting clash. Both teams have their chances of ending up as winners, especially now since just one leg is played. However, the visitors are slight favorites, and they should advance to the next round.
Goals Market Prediction
PAOK is well-known as a team that rarely concedes, and their defense is rock-solid. Benfica should also be careful since they are playing away from home, and therefore, we believe this game may remain under 2.5 margin.
PAOK vs Benfica predictions
Benfica to win @1.72
Under 2.5 FT @ 1.80
Correct score 0:1 @7.00