Portuguese league leaders Benfica are at White Hart Lane ready for tonight’s Europa League tie and there can be few, if any, teams in Europe in better form. The Eagles are set for their first domestic title in four years and currently enjoy a seven point lead over their nearest rivals Sporting.
Benfica’s current run of results is comparable to anything Bayern Munich or Real Madrid can conjure up and last weekend’s win over fourth placed Estoril was their eighth straight victory in all competitions. In fact, you have to go back to November before their last defeat against Olympiakos in a Champions league group game but domestically, they haven’t lost since August.
Chief Dangerman is Oscar Cardozo who is third favourite to open the scoring alongside Rodrigo. At a combined average of just under a goal every other game, they aren’t the most prolific pair in European football but with scoring support coming from all areas of the pitch they don’t really need to be.
Of course, you can’t really compare tonight’s opponents with the likes of Bayern Munich but that is a seriously impressive record and if loyalty wasn’t standing in the way, I would be seriously tempted to take Benfica’s 5/6 odds to go through to the next round. If we are to progress, nothing less than a two goal margin with nothing conceded will be enough to take into the second leg.