Benfica will play at home with Maccabi Haifa in the 1st round of the Champions League group stage. The match will take place on September 6, starting at 19:00 GMT.
Champions League 2022-23
Benfica will look to ensure a strong start to the season in Europe and at national level when the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League campaign kicks off on Tuesday.
The current leaders of the Portuguese League have won all four Champions League qualifiers, scoring 12 goals in the process, while their domestic form makes them the only team in Portugal’s top flight to win their first five league matches.
The club scored 15 points in five match weeks. However, a disappointing third place in the league last season has its consequences, as they ended up in Pot 3 in last week’s Champions League and ended up in a strong group with Juventus and PSG.
As such, the team will appreciate the importance of a winning start at home against Maccabi Haifa on Tuesday if they are to repeat their quarter-final defeat against Liverpool last season.
Maccabi Haifa are playing in the Champions League for the first time after losing all six group stage matches in 2009 – this group also included Juventus.
The team had to work hard against Crvena Zvezda in the final qualifier to get here, scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute in Belgrade to secure a thrilling 5-4 aggregate victory.
The club also have a 100% domestic record in this match, with a 92nd-minute win against Hapoel Beer Sheva taking three out of three league wins.
The team will need every ounce of momentum gained from his team’s late win if they are to achieve a positive result here against Benfica, especially since Haifa have not won a Champions League match since the 2002 group stage.
See also – more Champions League news
Players to watch
The home side have several strengths in the team and one of them is that midfielder Joao Mario has already surpassed his record last season by scoring three penalties in Benfica’s last three matches.
Meanwhile, Maccab does not have such star players as the opponent, but there are also experienced players. Four of striker Frantzdy Pierrot’s five goals in Champions League qualification for Haifa came in the second half.
Head to Head
Tuesday’s game will be the first ever meeting between Benfica and Maccabi Haifa.
The Israeli club have not won in their two games against the Portuguese opponent and will be looking to break that streak this week.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 25, 2022
Benfica are in brilliant form and have an incredible 15 win streak. They have won their last nine games at home and will be counting on their chances ahead of this game.
The Israeli team is also playing well at the moment, winning their last three games and not losing their last five.
Prediction for this match: Benfica win with a handicap (-2).
- Benfica to score from the 1st to the 30th minute.
- Benfica win with (-1.5) handicap.