Dynamo Kyiv vs. Benfica Betting Tips: Expect the Eagles to soar to victory in Poland
A place in the Champions League group stages is the prize for one of either Dynamo Kyiv or Benfica, but this particular play-off first leg pits two diametrically opposed teams for what many are expecting to be a relatively one-sided affair in Poland.
Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Kiev's home advantage has been forfeited and the scheduled first meeting will instead be held 900km+ west over in Lodz.
And after requiring extra-time to overcome Austrians Sturm Graz in the previous round, they might need all the help they can get when facing an outfit who appear to be on the climb under fresh management.
@LAHamalam has assumed control of this tie for us and has found a couple of plays that you may want to consider before placing those bets on Wednesday night.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Benfica Tips
Benfica are building an early reputation for themselves under former Bayer Leverkusen and PSV boss Roger Schmidt, whose arrival appears to be the new lease of life that the club needs.
Last year's memorable Champions League saw them reach the quarter-finals, but this run did come at a cost, however, finishing behind both Porto and Sporting Lisbon domestically to make it three years since their last league title.
The loss of top goalscorer Darwin Nunez to Liverpool will also somewhat hamper their aims for the season you would think, given a 34-goal differential between that team and the one currently being shaped.
But that doesn't necessarily appear to be the case: the 21/22 second-highest scoring Portuguese side have won all nine of their fixtures since Schmidt switched Eindhoven for Lisbon over the summer.
In these victories, Benfica have scored more than one goal in eight of the nine, giving this particular bet an 88% clearance rate.
More broadly than that, since the third qualifying round of this competition - which was when Benfica entered proceedings - the winner of each match has scored more than one goal in 17/18 of the games (Benfica twice delivering in this statistic).
They're favourites coming into this one for a reason, with Dynamo Kyiv having only won one game in the last seven inside 90 minutes across all competitions, in addition to missing that home advantage which can often be a critical component to gaining a positive first leg result. And if you happen to be the superstitious type, SLB have never lost to Kyiv before; winning three times and drawing once, including two encounters last season.
Expect Benfica's attacking wealth of David Neres, Goncalo Ramos, Roman Yaremchuk, Rafa Silva and Diogo Goncalves to be too much for the Ukrainians here, and at just 7/10 for the win, we'll boost this one up with Benfica to score 2+ goals at 11/10.
Although Kyiv's chances remain pretty slim in both our own and the bookmaker's thoughts, there's one price that stands out as too good to not highlight.
You may have seen Viktor Tsyhankov donning the yellow jersey for Ukraine, but it's his performances at club level which have not only earned him plaudits, but also caught our eye for this particular match.
The 24-year-old produced 11 goals from 18 appearances in the Ukrainian Premier League last term, ever so slightly improving his hit rate from the 12 in 20 he mustered the season before.
While he has left a lot to be desired on the big stage in this very competition, he's an important cog in the Kyiv machine, evidenced by instigating a team-high shot-creating actions of 2.59 per 90. His 1.67 shots per 90 average backs that up, with the midfielder producing a goal and an assist in the qualifying stages so far - a tally which has seen him participate in 40% of his team's goals this term.
Having conceded seven goals, including one in each leg of the previous round vs Midtjylland, the official "visitors" can still be got at. Without that true home advantage, Mircea Lucescu's men may have to battle harder to get something from this game. And if anyone is going to offer them a glimmer of hope, it's likely to be Tsyhankov.
Bet365 are going as short as 5/2 on him to score anytime, so the 11/2 on offer with PP and Betfair is worth a punt in our eyes.
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