Europa League Picks for Benfica vs. Juventus

Nila Amerova

Monday, April 21, 2014 8:20 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 8:20 PM GMT

Benfica will attempt to follow up their Liga triumph with a semi-final triumph at the expense of hot soccer-betting favourites Juventus in Europe’s second flight competition. Join us as we preview this intriguing matchup and deliver our soccer free picks.

Benfica Clinch Title
Benfica claimed their first title since 2009-2010 when they beat SC Olhanense 2-0 at the weekend. Lima scored a brace to lift the Eagles to victory and, in turn, begin celebrations as the club claimed their 33rd overall title before their adoring fans at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica with two fixtures yet to spare on the season.

It’s back to business this week however as Benfica look ahead to Europe’s second-flight. A tough matchup against Juventus looms ahead – only the competition favourites at +100 futures odds or thereabouts across sportsbook platforms and the preferred choice amongst soccer bettors in the outright win markets.

But Benfica have emerged as the second favourites to win outright at +350 since the competition moved into the penultimate round. Partly down to a runner-up finish in last year’s instalment of the competition after losing 2-1 to a Rafa-Benitez-inspired Chelsea. As well as solid form throughout the competition proper.

Share your Thoughts on this Europa League Matchup at our Soccer Betting Forum!

Juventus On Course
Juventus are keen to stay on course to contest this season’s Europa League final seeing as it’s slated to take place at Juventus stadium in Turin on Wednesday May 14. But they’ve received no favours from the draw by drawing a very tough side in Benfica.

Both Juventus and Benfica remain undefeated in the competition since the R32 – the round in which each side began its pursuit of second-tier glory after dropping out of Champions League – with a 5-1-0 record. What’s more both sides have identical home and road records in Europe, which are 2-1-0 and 3-0-0 respectively.

The similarities don’t end there however. Both sides come into this clash on winning form: Juventus boast a five-game winning streak while Benfica boast a seven game winning streak. In their last ten games, Juventus are 9-0-1 while Benfica are 8-1-1.

In their last ten away games across all competitions, Juventus are 7-2-1, a run of form that includes a staggering seven clean sheets.

In their last ten home games, Benfica are 9-1-0, a run of form that includes a whopping eight clean sheets.

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Soccer Betting Verdict
The Portuguese champions are very much in it. What’s more, they are more than capable of giving Juventus a run for their money, a fact that is nowhere more so apparent than in the match betting markets on the first leg of their tie. Set tighter than an accountant’s purse with Benfica tipped at +170 to win outright and Juventus just a smidgen shorter at +163 to win outright at Bet365. With neither side receiving the benefit of a clear market edge and with Benfica’s home advantage reduced to a moot point, despite an impressive home record, deciding between this pair in the first leg is going to be akin to splitting hairs. Making matters more difficult is the fact that both teams are defensively sound and supported by world-class goalkeeping in Buffon and Artur.

The probability of a home or away win is hovering on a 50-50 split. So if you have particular loyalties in this clash, follow those – you could do no worse really. For the neutral, the draw bet might be the best option on your soccer picks which is matched at a chunky +220 at Bet35. It’s quite likely that these two sides will cancel each other out and leave all to play for in the second leg.

Soccer Free Picks: Draw +220

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