After kicking off the week with an odds-against winner, Kev's taking on a firm favourite in the Champions League qualifiers.
"PAOK have already knocked out Besiktas, and they have a couple of competitive games under their belts. Even without a hostile crowd, this is a big test for Benfica."
Jesus to be tested
PAOK v Benfica
Tuesday 15 September, 19:00
The big man got the job done in Russia, as Artem Dzyuba struck in the first half of Zenit's 3-1 win over Arsenal Tula. We'll switch our attention from Russia to Greece now, because there's a fascinating clash between PAOK and Benfica in the Champions League qualifiers. This is a one-off encounter that has to be decided on the night, and I can't help feeling that the Portuguese giants are a little too short to win inside 90 minutes at 1.824/5.
Benfica collapsed horribly last season under Bruno Lage, finishing five points behind Porto in the title race. Having been incredibly successful with Flamengo in Brazil, winning titles at domestic and continental level, legendary coach Jorge Jesus has returned to Lisbon. Jesus won three league titles, six domestic cups and reached two Europa League finals in his previous spell with Benfica, and it is hoped that he can provide a stiffer challenge to Porto this term.
Benfica have won all of their friendlies under Jesus, but their first competitive game of the new season could provide a stiff challenge. PAOK have already knocked out Besiktas, beating the Turkish giants 3-1 in Thessaloniki, and they started their Super League campaign with a 1-0 win over Larissa. They haven't lost a competitive match since early July, and they finished second behind Olympiakos last season.
If we look at PAOK's recent home games in Europe, it's worth noting that they held Ajax to a 2-2 draw last year, and they have also overcome the likes of Basel and Spartak Moscow. Benfica did win 4-1 at the Stadio Toumbas two years ago, and that may well have contributed to their odds-on price here.
PAOK are further along in terms of competitive games, and although they won't have the usual raucous backing they enjoy, they are a decent unit and their coach Abel Ferreira knows Benfica inside out after facing them for several years as the boss of Braga.
Benfica might squeeze through, but I think we can attack that price of 1.824/5.
Points Staked: 130
Points Returned: 116.61
P/L: -13.39 points
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Lay Benfica at 1.824/5