Benfica will be seeking to claim an advantage when they welcome FC Midtjylland fo Portugal for the first leg of their third qualifying roung Champions League tie on Tuesday.
The hosts finished third in Portugal’s top flight last season, which saw them secure their place in the third qualifying round, while Midtjylland defeated Larnaca in the last round, eventually winning on penalties after the two sides had played out back-to-back 1-1 draws.
Roger Schmidt’s side impressed in the Champions League last season, defeating Spartak Moscow and PSV Eindhoven in the preliminary rounds before finishing second in a group that included both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Benfica then beat Ajax 3-2 on aggregate in the round of 16, but they were eliminated by Liverpool in the last eight, losing 6-4 on aggregate to Klopp’s side, who lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in the final.
While Everton and Darwin Nunez have departed from the club, Benfica have brought in David Neres, Enzo Fernandez, Mihailo Ristic, Joao Victor, Petar Musa and Alexander Bah.
Meanwhile, Midtjylland finished second in the Danish Superliga last season, seeing them join the 2022-23 Champions League in the second qualifying round.
The Danish giants are already three league matches into their 2022-23 campaign, picking up four points from three matches, which has left them in third place in the table.
They were in impressive form on Friday, beating OB 5-1, and they competed in the group stage of the Champions League in 2022-21, finishing fourth in Group D, which included Liverpool, Ajax and Atalanta BC.
Midtjylland participated in both the Europa League and Europa Conference League last season after failing to make the group stage of the Champions League, finishing third in their Europa League section before losing on penalties to PAOK in the knockout round playoffs of the Europa Conference League.
Benfica vs FC Midtjylland head to head
The two teams have not previously met on any occasion and this will be their first meeting in the first leg of their Champions League third round qualifying tie.
Benfica latest home form
Benfica have recently been on a good run of form at home, as they have won each of their four most recent matches. They managed to defeat Newcastle United 3-2 in their last home game in a friendly. In their last five matches, they have scored 15 goals and conceded six.
Benfica 0-1 Porto 07/05/22
Benfica 3-0 Nice 15/07/22
Benfica 5-1 Fulham 17/07/22
Benfica 4-2 Girona 22/07/22
Benfica 3-2 Newcastle United 26/07/22
Benfica latest away form
Benfica have recently been on a good run of form on the road, having won each of their four most recent matches. They managed to defeat Reading 2-0 in their last away game in a friendly. In their last five matches, they have scored 10 goals and conceded just three.
Liverpool 3-3 Benfica 13/04/22
Sporting Lisbon 0-2 Benfica 17/04/22
Maritimo 0-1 Benfica 30/04/22
Pacos Ferreira 0-2 Benfica 13/05/22
Reading 0-2 Benfica 09/07/22
FC Midtjylland latest home form
Midtjylland lost 3-1 to Silkeborg in their last home game in the Superliga. However, they have recently been on a good run of form at home, as they have been unbeaten in their previous 10 matches. In their last five matches, they have scored eight goals and also conceded eight.
Midtjylland 3-2 OB 25/06/22
Midtjylland 2-1 AaB 30/06/22
Midtjylland 1-1 Randers 15/07/22
Midtjylland 1-1 AEK Larnaca 19/07/22
Midtjylland 1-3 Silkeborg 22/07/22
FC Midtjylland latest away form
Midtjylland have recently been on a good run of form on the road, having lost just one of their nine most recent matches. They managed to defeat OB 5-1 in their last away game in the Superliga. In their last five matches, they have scored 11 goals and conceded five.
Silkeborg 1-4 Midtjylland 16/05/22
OB 0-0(P) Midtjylland 26/05/22
Gent 2-1 Midtjylland 09/07/22
AEK Larnaca 1-1(P) Midtjylland 26/07/22
OB 1-5 Midtjylland 29/07/22
Benfica could have some new faces in their starting lineup for this contest, with Fernandez and Nere set to start following their arrivals from River Plate and Shaktar Donetsk respectively.
Jan Vertonghen and Nicolas Otamendi should feature at the back, while Alex Grimaldo could start despite speculation surrounding his future.
FC Midtjylland news
Henriksen made changes for the league game against OB last time out, with the trio of Edward Chilufya, Charles and Paulinho set to return for this contest.
Anders Dreyer and Gustav Isaksen, who both scored on Friday, are likely to retain their starting roles, while Pione Sisto is pushing for starting spot.
Prediction and Odds
Midtjylland are certainly capable of making this match uncomfortable for Benfica, but we are struggling to back the Wolves with any real confidence.
Benfica could do enough to secure an advantage ahead of the second leg, but we expect the tie to still be open heading into the return match.
Odds: 1 2.10 X 2.05 2 2.22
Benfica 1-0 Midtjylland
Benfica 2-1 Midtjylland
Benfica 3-2 Midtjylland
Benfica 0-0 Midtjylland
Benfica 1-1 Midtjylland