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Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th


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[TR] [TH=class: firstColumn]Thursday 24 April 2014[/TH] [TH]Home[/TH] [TH]Draw[/TH] [TH]Away[/TH] [TH=class: bppWidth]BPP[/TH] [/TR] [TR=class: row0, bgcolor: #F0F0F0] [TD=align: center]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Benfica v Juventus (20:05 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd, align: center]2.9[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd, align: center]3.35[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd, align: center]2.75[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp, align: center]100.70 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row1] [TD=align: center]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Sevilla v Valencia (20:05 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd, align: center]2[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd, align: center]3.65[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd, align: center]4.33[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp, align: center]100.47 %[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE]
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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Juventus travel to Lisbon to face newly crowned Portuguese Champions Benfica and will be desperate to add another trophy to their cabinet in front of there own fans in Turin. Juventus rested a few key players such as Tevez and Vidal at the weekend but looked sluggish going forward even with Llorente, Pogba and Pirlo to name a few against a poor Bologna side. They will have to improve going forward if they're to win this tie no doubt. Juventus have disappointed me this season with a poor Champions League campaign and after a fantastic end to 2013 in the league they've become a bit unconvincing again in the past couple of months. They're grinding out the wins but performance wise they haven't pushed on and have looked for the taking by decent opposition. Tevez and Vidal will certainly need to be on their game as they tend to struggle a bit going forward when they're not at their best relying on Pirlo's set pieces for goals. I'm not sold by the 3-5-2 in Europe but Juventus are certainly flexible enough with Asamoah able to push forward into a front 3 while Lichsteiner drops into a back 4. Whether they are as effective this way I'm not sure but Conte will surely have to consider this against strong opposition. Juventus are a fairly balanced side but they do like to overload the flanks using their midfielders which can leave Pirlo and their relatively slow defenders exposed at times which is something Benfica's fluid front line will look to take advantage of. Everything has clicked for Benfica this season after years of near finishes. Manager Jorge Jesus has learned from past seasons where his offensive often "all-out" approach cost his team during the run in. The home side are now comfortable defending a lead but still have that attacking flair of Rodrigo, Lima, Gaitan and new man Markovic up front. The lack of rotation was also a problem in recent years but Jesus has used his squad well this season and Benfica's 3-1 win over Spurs showed their strength with several first team players rested. Benfica are flexible between a 4-2-2-2 and 4-3-3 formation but Gaitan will likely come inside to mark Pirlo allowing Markovic to push out wide. Either way Benfica's pace going forward will be tough to deal with especially for players like Bonucci, Barzaghli and Pirlo. Fullback Silvio will miss out although Maxi Pereira is a very strong replacement but tricky winger Salvio is a big loss. Salvio is a key player and really hit form in recent games after a long injury lay off but luckily again for Benfica Markovic is another solid replacement and will relish the chance to run at Juventus players mentioned above. Fejsa and Enzo Perez in particular have stepped up in Matic's absence and have formed a formidable partnership in midfield and the latter will surely attract interest from bigger clubs in the summer. People will dismiss Benfica because of the Portuguese league but I don't think it is that far off Serie A when it comes to quality. Benfica were unlucky not to win this competition last year and Portuguese sides have been very successful in Europe recently. Although the physicality throughout the Juventus team will cause problems for the home side Benfica are far more solid these days and have the attack to cause some real problems. After a slow start Benfica have dispatched any decent side with ease over recent months including a 3-1 win over Porto with 10 men most of the game. Juventus also have a woeful away record in Europe and go to the Luz where Benfica have kept 13 clean sheets in 15 matches during 2014. Benfica are the strongest they have been for years and there's some nice value on the home win. Benfica to Win @ 2.75 PaddyPower

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th If I would bet something for this game, I would clearly say 1-1 or 2-1 win for Benfica. Might just dutch these results. I frankly agree with most of what arsenalfh said. although, i feel that superior individual quality will make Juventus go through. Just.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th

Juventus travel to Lisbon to face newly crowned Portuguese Champions Benfica and will be desperate to add another trophy to their cabinet in front of there own fans in Turin. Juventus rested a few key players such as Tevez and Vidal at the weekend but looked sluggish going forward even with Llorente, Pogba and Pirlo to name a few against a poor Bologna side. They will have to improve going forward if they're to win this tie no doubt. Juventus have disappointed me this season with a poor Champions League campaign and after a fantastic end to 2013 in the league they've become a bit unconvincing again in the past couple of months. They're grinding out the wins but performance wise they haven't pushed on and have looked for the taking by decent opposition. Tevez and Vidal will certainly need to be on their game as they tend to struggle a bit going forward when they're not at their best relying on Pirlo's set pieces for goals. I'm not sold by the 3-5-2 in Europe but Juventus are certainly flexible enough with Asamoah able to push forward into a front 3 while Lichsteiner drops into a back 4. Whether they are as effective this way I'm not sure but Conte will surely have to consider this against strong opposition. Juventus are a fairly balanced side but they do like to overload the flanks using their midfielders which can leave Pirlo and their relatively slow defenders exposed at times which is something Benfica's fluid front line will look to take advantage of. Everything has clicked for Benfica this season after years of near finishes. Manager Jorge Jesus has learned from past seasons where his offensive often "all-out" approach cost his team during the run in. The home side are now comfortable defending a lead but still have that attacking flair of Rodrigo, Lima, Gaitan and new man Markovic up front. The lack of rotation was also a problem in recent years but Jesus has used his squad well this season and Benfica's 3-1 win over Spurs showed their strength with several first team players rested. Benfica are flexible between a 4-2-2-2 and 4-3-3 formation but Gaitan will likely come inside to mark Pirlo allowing Markovic to push out wide. Either way Benfica's pace going forward will be tough to deal with especially for players like Bonucci, Barzaghli and Pirlo. Fullback Silvio will miss out although Maxi Pereira is a very strong replacement but tricky winger Salvio is a big loss. Salvio is a key player and really hit form in recent games after a long injury lay off but luckily again for Benfica Markovic is another solid replacement and will relish the chance to run at Juventus players mentioned above. Fejsa and Enzo Perez in particular have stepped up in Matic's absence and have formed a formidable partnership in midfield and the latter will surely attract interest from bigger clubs in the summer. People will dismiss Benfica because of the Portuguese league but I don't think it is that far off Serie A when it comes to quality. Benfica were unlucky not to win this competition last year and Portuguese sides have been very successful in Europe recently. Although the physicality throughout the Juventus team will cause problems for the home side Benfica are far more solid these days and have the attack to cause some real problems. After a slow start Benfica have dispatched any decent side with ease over recent months including a 3-1 win over Porto with 10 men most of the game. Juventus also have a woeful away record in Europe and go to the Luz where Benfica have kept 13 clean sheets in 15 matches during 2014. Benfica are the strongest they have been for years and there's some nice value on the home win. Benfica to Win @ 2.75 PaddyPower
Gaitan and Fejsa have been left out of the Benfica squad. Fejsa didn't play at the weekend but Gaitan has gone missing from no where and is a massive loss for Benfica. Andre Gomes has done well over the season and has good physical and technical attributes but can be a little slow around the pitch. He's solid back up for Fejsa but Gaitan on the other hand is irreplaceable. Ruben Amorim is decent all round player and will likely come in here but he lacks those game changing qualities we've seen in Gaitan over the season. The more defensive midfield may have its benefits but more pressure will be on Benfica's forwards to perform now.
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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Sevilla are in excellent form,i need to repeat excellent form,crushing teams at home,even the mighty Real Madrid a few weeks ago were beaten (2-1).They have hit top form at the right time and are now only 3 points from a champions league place behind Athletico Bilbao who they meet (unbelievably) at the weekend.The way they beat Porto in the last round was impressive and i expect a similar performance and home win even with one eye on the huge weekend game.Bet 365 4/5.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th

Sevilla are in excellent form' date='i need to repeat excellent form,crushing teams at home,even the mighty Real Madrid a few weeks ago were beaten (2-1).They have hit top form at the right time and are now only 3 points from a champions league place behind Athletico Bilbao who they meet (unbelievably) at the weekend.The way they beat Porto in the last round was impressive and i expect a similar performance and home win even with one eye on the huge weekend game.Bet 365 4/5.[/quote'] I did not quite get what are they concentrating on? Win tonight or win in a few days? Maybe lose both?
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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th ShobulBG,im confident on sevilla winning tonight because they are playing so well at home.But i had to point out how important the weekend game is.They may well give priority to the Bilbao game in some way or another but their form is so good that im going for it.The home win is more risky because of the weekend game but i think its worth the risk.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th

Gaitan and Fejsa have been left out of the Benfica squad. Fejsa didn't play at the weekend but Gaitan has gone missing from no where and is a massive loss for Benfica. Andre Gomes has done well over the season and has good physical and technical attributes but can be a little slow around the pitch. He's solid back up for Fejsa but Gaitan on the other hand is irreplaceable. Ruben Amorim is decent all round player and will likely come in here but he lacks those game changing qualities we've seen in Gaitan over the season. The more defensive midfield may have its benefits but more pressure will be on Benfica's forwards to perform now.
I dont know where you got this from...maybe if you consider the the 8 matches he played in Benfica B...or you are probably referring to the goal he scored against Porto in the portuguese cup. Apart from that i cant understand why someone would consider "has done well" a player that played 92 minutes in the first team the whole season for the league. Vs Rio Ave: in at 90+2 vs Maritimo: in at 90 vs Paços: in at 88 vs Maritimo: in at 90 vs Olhanense: played whole match In the cup he played 90 minutes against Penafiel (II league) and 90 minutes against Porto where he scored a great goal. Funny story about André Gomes..he was called up to the national squad by Paulo Bento in February 2013 after playing only 360 minutes for Benfica. All of the sudden Jorge Mendes announces that his big friend Peter Lim (related to the buyin of Valencia) buys Rodrigo and André Gomes for 30M. 15M for a player that played 92 minutes this season. Now i know why he was called up to the national squad...key words are Jorge Mendes. Reminds me of Nelson Oliveira, striker, a couple of minutes for Benfica, no goals scored, called up to the Euro 2012...agent??? i guess you know the answer. As for Maxi Pereira, he is not "a very strong replacement"...he is the strongest...Silvio is not a miss at all...the guy played a couple of matches this season..Maxi Pereira is best right winger of the portuguese league for years. Salvio and Gaitan are huge misses...Sulejmani will probably play. Benfica at home is very strong...they didn't conceed a single goal in the secound half of the season in the portuguese league. Though, european competitions are a total diferent thing..Olympiakos scored, PSG scored, Tottenham scored twice and could have scored some more... Juventus has enough power to score in any stadium but im a bit concerned about the way Conte might approach the game. Jesus said this game wont decide anything as the second leg is the most important match..Conte surely thinks the same and will probably be happy with a draw. I think Juventus will give up on controlling the match and Vidal is a huge miss... Benfica will control but will miss Salvio and Gaitan, Markovic is a great player that can make the difference, but if Juventus defends well things will be complicated. Gun to my head i would say 1-0 to Benfica, but all depends on the first half-hour...if Benfica scores in the first 30 minutes, i think Juventus will go for the goal and will probably get it...1-1, 2-1 also results that i dont rule out. That being said, i see value on Benfica at 2.8 on Betfair...will probably happen the same as yesterday on Real - Bayern...Real price 2.4 went to 2.7 after 20 minutes...if my predictions is correct about Benfica controlling the match, this 2.8 may well go down in the first 20 minutes aswell. GL to all
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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th You've conveniently ignored the 800 minutes Andre Gomes has played in cup competitions including the Europa League. He's done well when called upon in these games and has played a good bit recently. Silvio was a great signing by Jesus in the summer and has started a lot for Benfica in 2014. Agree about Maxi Pereira though, he's been excellent. Juventus will badly miss Vidal's energy in attack and defence I feel.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th I watch Juve almost every week due to various season long bets I have on them and they are stumbling over the finish line. Unless Tevez is playing they create little and struggle to asert themselves in games, Pogba might be talked about as the next big star of the game but I don't think he is currently ready for that kind of praise, floats in and out of matches although he has a fantastic shot on him, Vidal provides a lot of the energy in midfield and if he doesn't play they struggle to get any kind of tempo going. The side is very workmanlike but they are struggling for the form of earlier in the season, I was going to have a punt on Benfica before I saw they had a few missing as such it's probably one to watch in-play, both defences are solid and this looks like an under 2.5 game to me.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Not much too add. Salvio and gaitan are huge misses for Benfica while Vidal is a massive loss for Juventus! Both will play this game pretty defensively although Benfica knows they really need a win if they want to reach the final. Juventus will surely sit back away from home hoping for a draw or sneak away with a win but it seems unlikely for me. With a full squad I would say Benfica definitely appeals with their great record at home and a lot of european experience but I think under 2.5 is the way to go here. I can see Benfica score here with some great players upfront like Cardozo, Rodrigo and Markovic. 1-0 or 1-1 are very likely results for me! But I will skip betting. Goodluck all

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Don't have much time to write a full preview about Sevilla game but they are very likely winners for me due many factors. 1 : Better form overall in the season. 2 : Better team and collective. 3 : Home advantage. 4 : They are on fire and scoring at will. If they field their best 11 tonight with Rakitic and I believe they will.. Then surely they will score 2+ goals and take the win here. Valencia might be glad with a small loss like 2-1 so the home win shows great potential to me. 1.95 at my local going high stakes on it! Sevilla really convinced me of their class in the last few months and are surely better than Valencia at the moment. Especially at their own stadium! A draw this season but 8 wins before that H2H. Valencia still has some important absentees at the back also their regular goalie. Odds dropped heavily in the last few days and I expect Sevilla to do their jobs tonight. High stakes home win medium stakes on Sevilla to score 2 or more goals! Goodluck.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Category: Football - Europa League 24 picks +59 units profit +46% yield Win-Loss-Void: 16-8-0 Win rate: 67% Stake avg.: 5.4 Odd avg.: 3.57 Staked: 129 Returned: 187.77 I see value in this bet and I will explain why. Honestly I think Sevilla before his public is obligated to make a good game and I think they win, but have to analyse each team playing. Sevilla is specialist to counterattack with playmaker Rakitic and fast wings like Vitolo and up strikers Bacca and Gameiro. In contrast, the bats of Valencia are playing something else, like to have the ball, even with a double pivot Parejo and Keita leaves us clearly that are players that love to touch the ball mist fo time and passing. Instead presums Sevilla gets with Iborra and Mbia that are quite the opposite. If score Sevilla first no fear for the bet as I think they fall back a little and try to counterattack without risking to kill the tie, otherwise if Valencia take the lead then Sevilla at home would be forced to came above and press a lot more to get something positive. In league Valencia avg 53.18 % of possession and despite Sevilla go much higher on the table they are just 47.4 %. I think the line is overvalued since Seville has 60 % chance to get ahead and this almost certainly would give a green to this selection. Total ball possesion Sevilla (%) Under 52.5 at 2.20 Unibet 4 units

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Why are people favoring the under 2.5 so much in the Lisbon match? Benfica is an ultra-offensive side, I understand Gaitan is possibly out (apparently trained yesterday and pulled up ok), Toto Salvio definitely out as is Fejsa, Vidal out for Juve (Marchisio will play), Vucko to start with Tevez up front. I think both teams will score tonight, Benfica plays loose and will go for it, they have to. Juve's defence isn't THAT strong and doesn't command the same respect it does domestically. The over is currently $2.47! Ridiculous odds for two teams who can both find the net.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Line-ups are out... Artur, Luisao, Garay, Maxi Pereira, Siqueira, Andre Gomes, Perez, Markovic, Sulejmani, Rodrigo, Cardozo. Buffon, Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Asamoah, Pirlo, Marchisio, Pogba, Tevez, Vucinic. No suprises from Conte, just looking at that Benfica line-up smells goals to me.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Aka a.madrid v Chelsea who can both find the net? Not disagreeing with you cos anything can happen and I can see goals in both semis but then again I was def not expecting just the one goal from the CL. Juve win and Sevilla HT/FT on the double for me

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Sevilla: Beto, Diogo, Pareja, Fazio, Navarro, Carriço, Mbia, Reyes, Rakitic, Vitolo, Bacca Valencia: Guaita, João Pereira, J. Fuego, Mathieu, Bernat, Feghouli, Keita, Parejo, Cartabia, Vargas, Alcácer Benfica: Artur, Maxi Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Siqueira, Markovic, André Gomes, Enzo Pérez, Sulejmani, Rodrigo, Cardozo Juventus: Buffon, Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah, Tevez, Vucinic Would have preferred to see Amorim play in a flatter midfield because I don't think Sulejmani is good enough to play as a number 10 and he isn't as good defensively. Cardozo in for Lima possibly to add some physicality to Benfica's front line while Llorente is also on the bench for Juve.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Chelsea to find the net with that line-up + anaemic Mourinho tactics? But, I understand what you're trying to say. However, the past tells me not to touch overs in UCL SF's, been burned before. I think both these SF's will be good over two legs, two even ties. We will see if Benfica rises, league is won, two club legends died recently, will that European curse finally break? Juve of course with the added motivation of the final being at home. The other tie is hard to pick, Sevilla on form but Valencia is more than capable (on paper they're very close) and Pizzi is an excellent coach imo.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th

Chelsea to find the net with that line-up + anaemic Mourinho tactics? But' date=' I understand what you're trying to say. However,[b'] the past tells me not to touch overs in UCL SF's, been burned before. I think both these SF's will be good over two legs, two even ties. We will see if Benfica rises, league is won, two club legends died recently, will that European curse finally break? Juve of course with the added motivation of the final being at home. The other tie is hard to pick, Sevilla on form but Valencia is more than capable (on paper they're very close) and Pizzi is an excellent coach imo.
I guess you found your own answer. :)
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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th

Why are people favoring the under 2.5 so much in the Lisbon match? Benfica is an ultra-offensive side' date=' I understand Gaitan is possibly out (apparently trained yesterday and pulled up ok), Toto Salvio definitely out as is Fejsa, Vidal out for Juve (Marchisio will play), Vucko to start with Tevez up front. I think both teams will score tonight, Benfica plays loose and will go for it, they have to. Juve's defence isn't THAT strong and doesn't command the same respect it does domestically. The over is currently $2.47! Ridiculous odds for two teams who can both find the net.[/quote'] Juventus is a team with great denfenders and the midfielders have great defending attitude. During this season it happened sometimes, when facing a good team, that Conte made Juventus play in a "we're waiting for you" way, for example against Inter Milan, when they scored and then stand back looking for quick counterattack leaving the ball possession to the rivals. I think that Conte wants this kind of play in though matches (previous year they lost 3-1 at home vs Inter Milan) because the 3-5-2 is not a formation that allows you to attack all the time and I think that tonight we'll see this, also because Benfica is a very offensive team and will let some spaces behind. my2c
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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th

Why are people favoring the under 2.5 so much in the Lisbon match? Benfica is an ultra-offensive side' date=' I understand Gaitan is possibly out (apparently trained yesterday and pulled up ok), Toto Salvio definitely out as is Fejsa, Vidal out for Juve (Marchisio will play), Vucko to start with Tevez up front. I think both teams will score tonight, Benfica plays loose and will go for it, they have to. Juve's defence isn't THAT strong and doesn't command the same respect it does domestically. The over is currently $2.47! Ridiculous odds for two teams who can both find the net.[/quote'] Benfica isn't that offensive. They will wait for Juve's error's and then attack. I saw them against my team and of course they were way better, but we only lost 1-0 and 2-0. If they would've played offensive we would've lost with much higher numbers. Juventus doesn't need to attack and there is no need for Benfica to play full pressure either. Under seems like a great bet to me.
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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Perfect result at Sevilla. Huge profit as both bets came in! This Sevilla side is a gold mine last 2 months. ;-) benfica delivered as many expected but it was a close game. A draw would have been fair here imo! Glad I skipped betting.

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th

Sevilla are in excellent form' date='i need to repeat excellent form,crushing teams at home,even the mighty Real Madrid a few weeks ago were beaten (2-1).They have hit top form at the right time and are now only 3 points from a champions league place behind Athletico Bilbao who they meet (unbelievably) at the weekend.The way they beat Porto in the last round was impressive and i expect a similar performance and home win even with one eye on the huge weekend game.Bet 365 4/5.[/quote'] :clap I saw most of the first half, and thought Sevilla were impressive (final score was 2-0) Home advantage seems so important with these Spanish teams - it wouldn't surprise me if Valencia still go through.
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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th Don't think so. Although Sevilla lost 3-1 at valencia this season but they would go through with that result though. Valencia's defense is too leaky against good teams. Sevilla can be deadly on the counter like against Real. Valencia will go all out and will surely concede a goal imo. That would force them to make 4 goals no way haha. ;-)

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Re: Europa League Semi-Finals > Thursday April 24th We saw the Benfica of old tonight playing a very attacking game but not surprisingly running out of steam just like last season. They started brilliantly ans were fantastic for most of the first half but Jorge Jesus also showed his tactical shortcomings which seemed to have disappeared over the season. I mentioned Juventus threat out wide with midfielders overloading the flanks but Jesus completely ignored this and allowed Pogba to boss the game in the second half. We saw the danger in the first half and nothing was done at half time. I was surprised Jesus stuck with his attacking 4-2-2-2 which should definitely have been ditched for a more defensive 4-5-1 especially after tiredness crept in to his side. Because of this two man midfield Benfica didn't have the extra man in midfield to cover the wide areas and left Pirlo in space to dictate play. Juventus looked very dodgy when Benfica managed to isolate their defence with their quick forwards and bringing a lead to Turin will be crucial because Juventus will have to attack. Juventus can be got at on the break and if you cover the flanks properly and prevent Pirlo dictating their attack they are very beatable. There's no way Jesus can ignore the 4-5-1 after seeing that second half performance and if they make some tactical changes to nullify Juventus I think they can win the tie with their threat on the counter.

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