Benfica vs Inter – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Tuesday 11th April 2023
Estádio da Luz
As part of our Champions League predictions, we take a look at Benfica’s quarter final clash against Internazionale. Inter have won just 1 in 8 in all competitions – do they have what it takes to get a result? Read on with our Benfica vs Inter prediction.
Benfica vs Inter Match Preview
Following their 7-1 aggregate demolition of Belgian side Club Brugge, who have since parted ways with Scott Parker, Benfica host an Internazionale side in the midst of a poor run of results. The hosts suffered a setback on the weekend with a 2-1 defeat to arch-rivals and Inter’s round-of-16 opponents FC Porto, which sees the gap cut to 7 points between the top two sides in Liga Portugal. Schmidt’s men had won their previous 10 league fixtures, and therefore it’s a little early to assess the significance of the result. However, they had been arguably outplayed away to Rio Ave in the previous fixture despite emerging with a 1-0 victory.
Hopefully from Benfica’s point of view, the recent drop off in performance level in their domestic campaign won’t affect their superb Champions League form. Unbeaten this season in 12 matches including 4 qualification games, they successfully managed to navigate a tough group containing PSG and Juventus without defeat and having defeated the Italian side twice. Over the two legs in their round of 16 clash against Club Brugge, they were utterly dominant and well worth their six-goal aggregate victory.
Inter coach Simeone Inzaghi is insistent that performances have generally been good, but it cannot be denied that they are consistently failing to take their chances. What cannot be denied is that results have been poor, with one win in their last eight matches in all competitions following their round of 16 first-leg victory over FC Porto which was enough to send them through to the Champions League quarter-finals after securing a 0-0 draw in Oporto.
The visitors have scored just three goals in their last six matches in all competitions; a 2-1 defeat away to Spezia saw Inter squander a host of chances for an xG of 4.04. They had the vast majority of the ball and total efforts on target against Juventus but failed to find the breakthrough – 1.36 xG for 18 efforts in total is a poor return. Another 1-0 home defeat against Fiorentina followed in which they had just three shots on target, the same as the Juventus match. Their 1-1 draw away to Salernitana followed a similar pattern, as they were once again the dominant side but not on the scoreboard where it counts.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Guedes, Ristic
Will Not Play: Bah, Draxler, Otamendi
Might Not Play: Handanovic
Will Not Play: Calhanoglu, Dalbert, Skriniar
Benfica vs Inter Lineups (Predicted)
Benfica: (4-2-3-1): Vlachodimos; Grimaldo, Morato, A. Silva, Gilberto; Aursnes, Florentino Luis; R. Silva, Joao Mario, Neres; Ramos
Inter (3-3-2-2): Onana; Acerbi, De Vrij, Darmian; Dimarco, Brozovic, Dumfries; Mkhitaryan, Barella; Martinez, Lukaku
Benfica vs Inter Analysis
Benfica Can Bide Their Time
The onus is ordinarily on the home side to provide the attacking impetus where two sides are relatively well matched, but Inter are in such poor goalscoring form that Benfica would perhaps be better served to focus upon limiting the visitors to half chances that they’re unlikely to take at the moment given their travails in front of goal. The last time the visitors scored twice was in a 2-0 home win over Lecce seven matches ago, and away from home, they haven’t managed this feat since late January against struggling Cremonese.
We’re not suggesting for a moment that Inter don’t possess capable creative players, or that their strikers are terrible. Rather, they are consistently fluffing their lines in front of goal and it doesn’t seem likely that an away Champions League quarter-final clash is the easiest environment in which to rectify their goalscoring slump. We anticipate that Inter’s objective for this first leg clash will be to keep things tight and attempt to take any kind of positive result back to the San Siro.
What Benfica mustn’t do is get carried away early on and risk getting caught on the break to allow the Italians to get in front. Once able to do that, Inter would feel reasonably confident in seeing out the match in a similar manner to their round of 16 aggregate victory over Porto. Generally speaking, although they tend to have more of the ball than their opponents except when facing a top-tier side such as PSG, Benfica aren’t overly concerned with implementing high-pressing, possession-based tactics so they are unlikely to leave Inter with too much room to play into.
Inter Will Prioritise Keeping Things Tight
For all their problems of late, we must respect that Inter have won all of their Champions League home matches with the exception of their 2-0 defeat against Bayern Munich. Inter have won all of those matches to nil, and should they prove able to take a positive result back to the San Siro then you’d have to say that the tie would have turned in their favour. Benfica are a bright, capable attacking side but they would not enjoy being in a position where they would be forced to chase the game.
Therefore, we expect that Inter will opt to prioritise keeping it tight at the back first and foremost against a side who have a proven track record in breaking teams down in this year’s Champions League campaign. Benfica have scored in all 12 matches, including both matches against PSG and putting six past Juventus over the course of their two group stage encounters. With Inter also not in the best goalscoring form, it makes sense for them to try to catch Benfica out and generate clear chances on the counterattack – it seems unlikely that Inter would be able to camp in Benfica’s half and break them down when they’ve failed to find the net on so many occasions lately.
As with many well-balanced Champions League knockout ties, it’s incredibly difficult to predict what will happen. Though Inter are in poor form results-wise, they have been generating chances in most of their recent matches but they’re simply not taking them. Benfica have been in excellent form for much of the season; until very recently where recent performances have taken a noticeable dip. The home side also have two first-choice defenders out – influential centre-back Otamendi and Alexander Bah.
We predict that Inter, though unlikely to ‘park the bus’ as such, will approach this fixture with a view to avoiding defeat as a priority. Benfica are perhaps unlikely to score more than once without risking being opened up – Inter notched three goals away from home against a Barcelona side who were admittedly struggling, but still
had an abundance of quality available to them. With both sides aware of the high-stakes nature of this match and with the tactical and recent form considerations, we’re sitting on the fence.
Benfica 1-1 Inter
Benfica vs Inter Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
10Bet – 50% up to £50 Welcome Bonus
Sport is our life at 10bet. We don’t miss a shot, stroke or tackle, and we make sure you won’t too. We cover football betting, horse racing betting, tennis betting, cricket betting, basketball betting, and so much more. But if greyhounds or Gaelic hurling is your thing, you’ll find that here too.
Luckland Sports – Welcome Offer, Bet £15 Get £10
Sports Betting at Its Best
Luckland online Sports betting is for all Sports fans. With over 20 Sports to choose from, both pre-match & live, we have an extensive coverage of leagues and events from all over the world, covered 24/7.
Everygame (USA and Canada) – Exclusive Sign-Up Bonuses
Everygame was the first online sportsbook to hit the world wide web and paved the way for many of the online sportsbooks we see online today. Thousands of daily live betting options. Up to $750 Sign-Up Bonus!