The Champions League restarts this week, and there are more than a few eye-catching round of 16 ties to look ahead to. One that few could have foreseen will see Club Brugge have home field advantage for their opening leg against Portuguese giants Benfica.
Champions League Preview
Club Brugge were one of the stories of the Champions League in the first half of the campaign, and they were among the first teams to book their spot in the round of 16 of the competition. They won each of their opening three games, which included victories over Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, and Porto. A 0-0 draw in Spain assured their place in the next round, and their campaign slightly fell apart once the hard work was done.
However, their only defeat in six outings in the competition this term was a 4-0 home loss against Porto, and they ended the group stage with a decent draw against Leverkusen. Brugge has only once won more games in a European campaign than this term, as they claimed five wins when reaching the Champions League final in 1977-78.
Benfica will have the important advantage of playing the second leg at home in the round of 16, and like their opponents this week, they have been excellent in the Champions League to this point. Few could have expected them to top a Group H that also included PSG and Juventus, but they remained unbeaten across all six games that they played in the first half of the campaign.
They ended their group stage campaign with a fine 6-1 win on the road against Maccabi Haifa, with Goncalo Ramos getting himself among the scorers. Meanwhile, Benfica comes into this fixture having gone seven without defeat in the competition. They will also be looking for a third win in the Champions League for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
Club Brugge vs Benfica Head to Head
This will be the first official meeting between the sides in a European competition. However, Brugge has played Portuguese opposition already this term, winning 4-0 away from home against Porto, before losing by the same score in the return fixture.
Club Brugge vs Benfica Prediction
We could see this fixture between the two sides being a cagey affair, as neither will want to give too much away in the first leg. Therefore, we could see the draw being the most likely outcome on Wednesday.
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