Benfica will go head-to-head against Bayern Munich in Champions League Group E action at Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica. Both teams remain unbeaten so far in the group stage. Can Benfica hold off free-scoring Bayern?
Benfica have enjoyed a bright start to the season both in the Primeira Liga and the Champions League. They are top of the domestic league with seven wins and one loss from their opening eight games. Although they lost their previous fixture in the league before the international break, they remain top of the table. Benfica’s Champions League form has been similarly impressive as they remain unbeaten in second spot in the Group E table. In their previous game in the Champions League, Benfica dismantled the La Liga giants Barcelona 3-0 at home. Nunez put Benfica on the scoresheet in the third minute, before Rafa Silva added another to make the scoreline 2-0. Nunez again got on the scoresheet through a penalty, making the final result 3-0. Seferovic will remain unavailable due to an injury while Dias and Lazaro are set to miss out as well. Gilberto is likely to replace Lazaro at the wing-back position. Almeida could also be in the running for the starting eleven.
Benfica took a total of twelve shots in their previous Champions League encounter against Barcelona. They were also fairly accurate with their shots with six shots on target. Benfica were highly threatening with their shots from inside the opposition box as all of their goals were scored from there.
Despite being the more threatening side in both the halves according to the xT timeline, Barcelona failed to take advantage as Benfica stood firm. In terms of the xG timeline, Barcelona fared better during the first half, although Benfica dominated in the second half.
Bayern Munich have been in free-scoring form both in the Champions League and in the Bundesliga. They are placed top of the Bundesliga with six wins, one draw and one loss this season from their opening eight fixtures. In their previous game in the Bundesliga, Bayern thrashed Leverkusen 5-1 away. Both Lewandowski and Gnabry grabbed a brace while Muller got on the scoresheet as well. Similar to their league form, Bayern are placed top of the Champions League Group E table and remain undefeated so far. Last time around they dispatched Dynamo Kyiv 5-0 at home. Lewandowski and Gnabry were both in inspiring form against Kyiv as well. Bayern now have ten victories from 12 games in all competition this season, and a win against Benfica will ensure that they move to the next round. Alphonso Davies could miss out on the clash as he was substituted in Bayern’s previous league match while Pavard could make his return from suspension.
Bayern were dominant in the match against Dynamo Kyiv, as indicated by their multiple attacking metrics. Lewandowski had the highest xG in the match while he also took the highest number of shots. Bayern’s xG of 2.85 surpassed that of their opponents’, 0.36.
Bayern’s xT and xG timeline further indicate their dominance in the match. They were highly threatening in both halves and also had the upper hand in terms of xG.
Benfica (3-4-3) -Vlachodimos; Verissimo, Otamendi, Vertonghen; Gilberto, Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo; Silva, Yaremchuk, Nunez.
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1) -Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Upamecano, Hernandez; Kimmich, Goretzka; Sane, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski.
Bayern Munich will go into the match as favourites after their recent goalscoring exploits. Benfica will need to dig deep if they are to hold off a free-scoring Bayern.