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Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Confidence key for resilient Benfica

Benfica's Lisandro Lopez tackles Dries Mertens
1 of 1

Champions League
BT Sport Extra, 5.45pm

One point covers three teams in a tight scrap for qualification from Group B but second-placed Benfica can provide some clarity by beating third-placed Besiktas in Istanbul.

The Portuguese need a win to seal a place in the last 16 but will have plenty of respect for their hosts, who are undefeated after 16 matches this season.

Benfica are also a resilient bunch. They have lost just one of their 17 games this term and are entitled to feel confident after banking six points from their matchday three and four contests with Dynamo Kiev.

They sit at the top of the Portuguese standings, five points ahead of a strong Sporting Lisbon side, and possess the necessary quality to come through a tricky test in a hostile environment.

Besiktas rode their luck to draw 1-1 at home to Napoli on matchday four but their good fortune may be set to run out.

Recommendation
Benfica
1pt 13-8 Hills

Team news
Besiktas Caner Erkin (Achilles), Necip Uysal (hamstring), and Anderson Talisca (foot) are sidelined.
Benfica Luisao has shaken off a knee problem but Ljubomir Fejsa (ankle) is out.

Key stat
Benfica have won seven of their last eight fixtures

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