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Benfica vs Ajax Predictions: Blind to see yellow in Portugal on Wednesday

Daley Blind features in one of two tips for Wednesday's clash between Benfica and Ajax
Daley Blind features in one of two tips for Wednesday's clash between Benfica and Ajax

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Benfica vs Ajax Odds

Benfica lock horns with Ajax in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League clash Wednesday evening, live on BT Sport. 2 outsiders for the tournament outright, it is Ajax who are the bookies favourites heading into this 2 legged affair.

The Eredivisie leaders are in some form in this years UCL campaign. A win here would continue their 100% record in the Champions League, making it 7 wins from 7 after a spotless group stage. The Dutch Champions are not only performing on a European level – a 1-0 away to Willem on the weekend made it ten wins on the bounce and they now sit 5 points clear at the top of the Eredivisie.

Benfica vs Ajax Tips

In contrast to Ajax, consistency is something Benfica have lacked this season. Despite qualifying ahead of Barcelona In group E it hasn’t been all well for the Portuguese side. They squandered a 2-0 lead at the weekend after conceding 2 second half goals resulting in a 2-2 draw - that now puts them 12 points behind leaders Porto. It certainly looks a tough task for the hosts here as they face one of Europe’s most inform sides. This Ajax side know how to perform at this stage of the tournament under current manager Erik Ten Hag, whereas this is Benfica’s first knockout CL tie in five seasons.

Benfica vs. Ajax Match Centre
Anthony to have 3+ shots
5/6
Odds correct as of 2022-02-22 18:05 Odds subject to change.

Sebastian Haller gets all the headlines in this Ajax side, but one man attracting interest from all over Europe is Brazilian winger Anthony. The young 21 year old is an integral part to this Ajax side and I fancy him to perform here once again.

Anthony averages the most shots per game for Ajax this season in the Champions League (3.6 shot per game) and is only second to Haller in the Eredivisie (3.2 shots per game). I was surprised to see him so low down in the pecking order for 3 shots considering his constant desire to pull the trigger. He has managed to hit this line in 4 out of 5 CL games this campaign, with the only loss coming when he ended on 2.

I fancy Ajax to take control of this game, with the favourite expectation I can see it being attack Vs defence and Ajax are the much stronger team in this moment. Backing Anthony for 3 shots at 5/6 look a generous price Wednesday evening.

Champions League Odds
Daley Blind to be carded
11/2
Odds correct as of 2022-02-22 18:10 Odds subject to change.

Blind has never been a player for an amazing card record and is yet to he cautioned this season, but I feel if there is a time for him to be booked it is Wednesday, and at 11/2 I’m happy taking that price.

Rafa Silva should start on the right for Benfica which should make that a direct opponent for Daley Blind if he starts LB as expected. Out of Rafa’s last 7 starts, he’s seen an opposition left sided player (LM/LB) booked on 6 occasions. He has been fouled 15 times across his last 5 games, and even saw a left back sent off (two yellows) a few games ago.

From a tactical perspective this bet feels like it has a chance. I expect Ajax to dominate the ball despite being the away side, with Benfica looking to counter. Ideally want to see Benfica go with their 442 as this would give us the best chance of Rafa being able to isolate Daley blind, someone who definitely lacks pace.

Away from his clean disciplinary in Holland, he has been booked in 6 of his last 25 games in Europe since 2019. This is obviously due to an increase of quality in opposition, making the 11/2 available well worthy of a 1Pts play vs the dangerous Rafa.

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