- Will Inter continue their head-to-head dominance over Benfica?
- The 2023 UCL finalists have dropped points only twice to start the season.
- Benfica sits second in Portugal but is overperforming underlying metrics.
Ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League action, I’m set to offer an Inter vs. Benfica prediction.
These sides have recent history, with the Italian side dispatching Benfica in last season’s quarterfinals. Manager Simone Inzaghi’s side earned a 2-0 victory in Portugal before drawing 3-3 in Milan.
For Tuesday’s fixture, Inter is a -135 home favorite, with the draw and Benfica priced at +280 and +340, respectively.
The total is set at 2.5 goals, juiced -130 to the over.
Inter vs. Benfica Champions League Prediction
Soccer odds are reflective at time of writing and are subject to movement.
Inter Milan Moneyline (-135)
Even though Benfica earned a draw in the last meeting, underlying metrics suggest it was undeserved.
Inter won the expected goals battle 1.2 to 0.68, the post-shot expected goals battle 1.67 to 0.9, and the big scoring chances battle 1-0, all per fotmob.com.
Since that meeting, it’s my opinion Tuesday’s favorites have improved while Benfica have taken a step back.
Through seven Serie A fixtures, Inter has a +1.43 expected goal differential per 90 minutes. In a head-to-head meeting with AC Milan – their toughest opponent to date – Inter won the expected goals battle 2.6 to 1.1, per fbref.com.
Conversely, Benfica has posted inferior metrics in a weaker league.
Across seven Liga Portugal fixtures, the domestic title holders own a +1.08 expected goal differential per 90 minutes.
But that record drops when you consider their road form. In four road domestic fixtures, Benfica owns a +0.56 expected goal differential per 90 minutes.
That drop-off is largely dictated by weaker defensive play. Across those four road fixtures, Benfica has conceded 1.53 expected goals per 90 minutes and 0.98 non-penalty expected goals per 90, again per fbref.com.
That will put them in trouble against an invigorated Inter attack, which has amassed two or more expected goals in both matches against top-half Italian sides from last season.
Add in that Benfica sold their best attacker – Goncalo Ramos – this summer, and I question how the Portuguese side keeps up offensively.
Back Inter at -140 or better on the three-way moneyline.
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