Benfica vs Shakhter Donetsk Prediction and Betting Preview, 27 Feb 2020

The Match Is Over. Score: 3-3
Two teams who failed in their tracks to advance past the group stages of the UEFA Champions League will now be facing off in the disparaged Europa League. Despite opening up their campaign with Champions League football, both sides will now be plying their continental trade elsewhere.
Match status: 2019-20 Europa League Round of 32
Kick-off:
Venue: Estádio da Luz (Lisbon)
When the group stage draws were announced, it was generally accepted that Benfica had been handed a rather easy group, comprising of RB Leipzig, Lyon and Zenit St. Petersburg. RB Leipzig considered the only major threat; the Eagles still couldn’t book a spot in the last-16 of the Champions League.

Shakhtar Donetsk suffered a similar fate in their respective Champions League journey, settling for a third-place finish in Group C. Missing out on qualification by a whisker, the Ukrainian outfit will be kicking themselves for not managing to squeeze themselves into the knockout phases.

With the visiting contingent emerging victorious by a narrow 2-1 margin in the first-leg, Benfica will be looking to get one over Luis Castro’s side in this return fixture to advance to the last-16 of the UEFA Europa League.

Benfica vs Shakhtar Donetsk Team News

Benfica’s loss in Ukraine marked four games without a win for Thursday’s hosts, who’ve lost three of their last four. Fortunately, the Portuguese club come into this second leg with just a single-goal deficit to overturn.

On balance, Benfica were perhaps unfortunate to lose in Donetsk, as they created just as much as their hosts, though when in good position, they failed to come up with the same level of end-product, which is something that will need to change on Thursday.

Something else that needs to change ASAP is Benfica’s rickety defence, which continues to leak goals. Thursday’s hosts have conceded in five of their last six, while they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last six in front of a home crowd.

While Benfica have been having defensive issues, Shakhtar have done a more than reasonable job of keeping teams quiet, conceding in just one of their last four.

However, despite emerging victorious, they didn’t look overly secure in the reverse of this fixture. They conceded just a single goal down to a lack of end-product from their opponents rather than their own solidity.

In fact, their defensive efforts in Ukraine are cause for concern ahead of Thursday’s match in Lisbon. During the Champions’ League group stages, like Benfica, Shakhtar struggled tremendously to keep teams at bay, conceding 13 goals in six matches.

They did at least get competitive offensively, especially away from home, where they scored six times, notching against Man City, Atalanta and Dinamo Zagreb, so they ought to fancy themselves to make offensive headway on Thursday.

The hosts must do the business offensively having lost on the road, while Shakhtar know the importance of scoring at least one away goal. Combine this with the general soft defensive nature of both and supporting a goal-filled encounter stands out as the best option.

Injured or Suspended Players

Benfica: Zivkovic, Jardel, Gabriel, Andre Almeida, Samaris and Carlos Vinicius.

Shakhtar Donetsk: Dentinho and Solomon.

Pre-Match Odds

Benfica: 1.91
Draw: 3.84
Shakhtar Donetsk: 4.2

All odds are with 1xBet and are subject to change.

Who will win the match?

Benfica vs Shakhtar Donetsk Predictions

Benfica will have to overturn their first-leg defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk if they want to remain in the Europa League but have home advantage in this second leg. Just one goal separated the two teams in Ukraine last week and buoyed by that victory, Shakhtar should be able to avoid defeat.
Main Match Predictions:
X2 @ 2.04
*bonusMB - the promo code used for receiving 100% bonus on first deposit upon registration with 1xBet Bookmaker.
Correct Score:
Benfica 2-2 Shakhtar Donetsk @ 13.00
*bonusMB - the promo code used for receiving 100% bonus on first deposit upon registration with 1xBet Bookmaker.
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