Zagreb vs Benfica Europa League Predictions

Sam Watt
By: Sam Watt
Europa League Dinamo Zagreb vs Benfica
Zagreb vs Benfica Europa League

The match is over.
Score: 1-0.

The first legs of the Europa League last 16 are played this week although there isn’t a clear favourite on who will win the entire competition, Portuguese giants Benfica will fancy their chances to convincingly state their claim for the trophy against a Zagreb side who should be considered underdogs for the tournament.

Predictions

This should be a good game for Benfica to advance to the quarter finals of the Europa League but Zagreb are a dangerous side who managed to overturn a first leg deficit against Plzen in the last round to get to where they are now.

The home side come into this game as heavy outsiders but with just one domestic defeat this season, they should be taken seriously. Their home record in the Europa League is impressive so this could be a tricky tie for Benfica.

The Portuguese club come into this game off the back of a huge 2-1 win away at Porto in Liga Nos, so will be coming into this game full of confidence and ready to go further in the competition.

Zagreb defeated Plzen in the last round despite going behind 2-1 in the first leg. The Croatians won the home leg 3-0 and advanced to this last-16 stage, where they now face Benfica.

As for the visitors, they managed to defeat Galatasaray in their knockout round game after dropping down from the Champions League, beating the Turkish club 2-1 in Turkey and drawing 0-0 at home.

The away side are favourites to win this game although it may not be a big a margin as many suggest. A 3-1 triumph for Benfica would appear a likely outcome from it.

1x2 Prediction Widget

Score Prediction Widget

Betting Tips

Benfica are overwhelming favourites for this clash so an away win carries very little risk while it is also highly likely that both teams will score. Zagreb will be intent on giving their home fans a moment to savour and this is among the best online betting odds for this midweek round of action.

These are decent odds for an outcome which is more probable than they reflect. Home advantage should significantly shift the momentum in this game for Zagreb with their fans eager to push their team as far as they can, and the scoreline being level at the break wouldn’t be a surprise. However, it also wouldn’t be a surprise if Benfica pull away in the second half to take the game in comprehensive fashion.

Statistics

Head to Head

These two have only ever met each other three times in the past, back in the old UEFA Cup in 2004 and the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1980, with all three games seeing Zagreb fail to score a single goal.

Stats

  • Benfica have won their last nine games in Liga Nos including wins over Porto and Sporting Lisbon as well as a 10-0 thrashing of Nacional.
  • Zagreb are on just as good form in their domestic competition, winning all but four games as they romped to the Croatian title in a season which ended the weekend before this clash.
  • Zagreb’s home form has been imperious this season, winning 11 times in the league and failing to lose, only losing once in front of their own fans once in the Champions League playoffs.
  • Benfica are a tough team to play when they’re on their travels, winning 10 out of their 13 games in Liga Nos, scoring 25 and conceding just 10.
Sam Watt
By: Sam Watt

Football manager is my life, but have taken up writing to help put all that knowledge playing the game to good use. Follow me for all things European football and gain unexpected knowledge about players and teams you didn't know before. When not playing football manager, I take a break to play with my Sunday League team.

All Predictions by Sam Watt

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