Fenerbahce Vs Benfica – This is certainly stronger and more even pair of the European league semi-finals, considering that clubs were multi-year champions of their respective countries and every season are in the top of table, and at this point are of similar players’ quality. This season Fenerbahce lags behind its biggest rival in the championship, while Benfica leads the race for the title, and what they in common too is that both drew in the Cup semi-finals matches last week. Fenerbahce was defeated in the championship on Sunday, while Benfica won. In recent past, the two clubs haven’t played against each other. Begins: 25.04.2013 – 21:05 CET
Fenerbahce welcomes this match in a bad atmosphere, because they lost the away championship match against Genclerbirligi on Sunday with 2-0, and probably said goodbye to the title, which will again end up in trophy cabinet of their biggest rival Galatasaray. They are seven points behind, and with just four rounds left before the end of the championship it is almost impossible to catch their opponent. So, as a consolation remains the national Cup, but first of all the European league, where eventual winning of the trophy would turn this season into a success. Until now, they played in this competition very well, with only one defeat in the last round of the group stage when everything was anyway over. In the knockout stage, they played very solidly, with just a few goals and by the recipe: one draw – one win. In the quarterfinals they have eliminated Lazio, largely thanks to the first match at home when they with a mild help from judges won with 2-0. In the rematch were in a subordinate position, but nevertheless drew 1-1. They played very poorly against Genlerbirligi, although they played with their strongest team. The good news is that team’s top scorer Moussa Sow has recovered, and the bad thing is that the midfielder Caner Erkin is under suspension due to showed cards.
Probable lineups Fenerbahce: Demirel – Gonul, Yobo, Korkmaz, Ziegler – Raul Meireles, Topal – Kuijt, Cristian – Sow, Webo
Benfica is in a much better mood than their opponent and because of several reasons. In the championship holds first position ahead of Porto with advantage of four points, it will play in the Cup’s finals, and on Sunday won the big derby against Sporting. The game ended with 2-0, but in the pitch they weren’t completely dominant and allowed the opponent to create a lot of chances, while scoring goals this season is anyway not a problem for Benfica with such a good strikers that are in its ranks. In all matches this season that have played in the Championship, Cup and Europa League, managed to score at least one goal, and in all mentioned competitions haven’t be defeated so far. They "descended” in the Europa league after failure in the group stage of the Champions League where have achieved five wins and only one draw, that took place in the quarterfinals in the away game against Newcastle, but that was enough for passage. They don’t have suspended or injured players, so the strongest team will go in the field.
Probable lineups Benfica: Artur – Maxi Pereira, Garay, Luisao, Melgarejo – Matic – Salvio, Perez, Gaitan – Cardozo, Lima
Fenerbahce v Benfica Pick
The favourite is Benfica, it is in a better shape and will play the rematch at home, where they are this season’s really great. However, in the first match Fenerbahce is not without chances, because they will be carried by support that will be coming from the stands and in such an atmosphere it is difficult to lose.
Odd: 3.30 - Pinnacle
Odd: 1.65 - BetVictor