It’s little surprise when you consider that Jorge Jesus’ team are four points clear of Porto in their domestic league, having gone unbeaten for the whole season to date. Twenty-two games have been won and four drawn which is a very impressive record even in a country like Portugal where the top teams are considerably stronger.
Benfica accounted for Newcastle United in the previous round and can be backed at 4/9 with BetVictor to claim a place in the Europa League final while they are also favourites to win Thursday’s first leg match. Paddy Power offer 6/4 about the visitors claiming victory in Turkey although Fenerbahce will be confident of winning themselves.
Manager Aykut Kocaman will have noted that Newcastle took the lead against the same opponents in their quarter final second leg match before eventually drawing the game and he’ll be acutely aware of the need to steal a march before that tricky return leg.
Fenerbahce are 2/1 with bet365 to win the game and they managed to overcome Lazio in the previous round by beating their Italian opponents 2-0 at home before managing to draw 1-1 away. Since then, they have beaten Eskisehirspor before losing away to Genclerbirligi.
Quite whether the Turkish side can contain their high-flying opponents is another matter, especially a team that have only experienced defeat in the Champions League this term, with Benfica’s latest win being a 2-0 triumph against Sporting Lisbon at the weekend.
Oscar Cardozo has 22 for the season, while Rodrigo Lima has been prolific in recent weeks and the Brazilian can be backed at 6/1 to score the first goal of this particular game.