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Play-Off Round Predictions > Aug 21st & 22nd

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Benfica vs PAOK Saloniki

The first legs of the Champions League Play-Off Round are always tough ones to call because every club left in it has reached this stage deservedly. The minnows are out and all that is left are the strong teams and the hard-working underdogs. In this game, Portuguese giants Benfica welcome Greek outfit PAOK Saloniki in an 8pm kick-off this Tuesday at the Estadio da Luz.

Rui Vitoria's side squeaked through a tough two-legged encounter with Turkish side Fenerbahce with a 2-1 aggregate win. It was proof that Benfica are a side that could cause problems for anyone in this year's competition. Their domestic form of two wins from their opening two matches have also shown the club remains solid and consistent. Even if things did get a bit nerve-wracking in their opening day 3-2 home win over Vitoria de Guimaraes after surrendering a three goal lead.

PAOK Saloniki are one of those sides you simply cannot count out. Razvan Lucescu has set up his team to be tough to beat. That was epitomised by their 5-1 destruction of Basel and then the tight 3-2 win over Spartak Moscow in their previous rounds. The fact that their domestic season hasn't even started yet shows that they are surpassing all expectations.

One player stands out as one to watch here and it is 21 year old centre back Ruben Dias. The Portuguese starlet burst onto the scene for his national side at this summer's World Cup and he looks like a future captain in the making. His commanding performances have been wise beyond his years and if he continues to lead by example then Benfica will be a hard team to score past this season.

I'm expecting PAOK to put up a really strong fight here. I just think Benfica at home will have enough to get the win. I can see them keeping a clean sheet. I was tempted to back a -1 handicap but I'm not sold on how easy PAOK will be to score against. They possess a back-line that has kept two clean sheets in their previous two away trips in this competition.

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.91 with BetVictor

PAOK AH +1.5 @ 1.67 with BetVictor

@vasilli07, @Xcout, @Icongene, @KikoCy, @DrBetter, @Duuc, @DrO, @immortal--, @Notorious, @betcatalog, @KingSoccertips, @discipline, @Pep004, @HastGill1, @ElPrincipito007, @salmonman, @DW_United, @allthethings, @MightyWell, @liamcorrigan86, @mijOsim, @dorleywilliams, @soccerprediction123, @jamiedavies02, @TOTTI3, @LePapo, @seifer365, @MPLouis, @Jack A, @JJG, @Pipoca, @neilovan, @wcz, @newjack, @matt-e-matticle, @EBTA, @cluelessG, @mtom, @Marek76, @allyhibs, and @WinningAdvice, what bets are you thinking of placing for these crucial Champions League games this week?

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SL Benfica v PAOK Salonica

SL Benfica: André Almeida (2/0 d, doubtful), Corchia (d, newcomer), Krovinović (0/0 m), Ebuehi (0/0 d), Castillo (0/0 f), Jonas (0/0 f, last season top scorer)

PAOK Salonica (last season): El Kaddouri (18/1 m), Wernbloom (m, newcomer)


Daily updated injuries and suspensions information from more then 100 football leagues and competitions worldwide at: www.injuriesandsuspensions.com

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Football Facts and Streaks regarding Champions League

PSV Eindhoven scored in last 8 games in all competitions.
RB Salzburg won their last 15 games in all competitions.
Red Star won their last 3 games in all competitions.
PSV Eindhoven has over 2.5 goals in their last 5 games in all competitions.
BATE has under 2.5 goals in their last 6 games in all competitions.
RB Salzburg won their last 3 away games in all competitions.

You can find interesting 50 Football Betting Streaks for 21.08.2018 on this link ... http://eurofootballrumours.com/football-facts-and-streaks-21-08-2018-10956

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I think PSV holds value, they started winning their local league and mostly the team have a lot of young and eager players, the thing is that the draw would not be seeing as such a bad results with the second leg at home. Yet I feel they have an edge, also on form Hirving Lozano has started with two goals, one in each match, and for sure will look to continue showing his quality, in this that will be his debut in Champions League and made up for an regular World Cup.

I agree with @StevieDay1983 with regards that Benfica will get the win, but the odd is very low for the home win, and meanwhile is true that PAOK has deserved to get to this stage, it is up to see how he will handle the multiples options in front that Benfica can throw at them. Fortunately for PAOK, Benfica reinforcement Nicolas Castillo is out, but still Benfica has plenty of scoring options. I prefer just to watch the match.

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Regarding Red Star game....huge miss is that we are playing without fans.They are our 12 player and they always make great atmosphere.

Their will be one major change in line up...new player Jonathan Cafu (Ludogorets,Bordeux) will start.Last season he hardly play for Bordeux but I do remember this guy who destroy us in CL Qualification 2016. He is very fast and powerfull but I dont know what to expect since he hardly play last year.

Salzburg never play in CL and I think that main sponsor Red Bull is now concentrate on RB Leipzig,so best players from Salzburg goes to play in bundes league. 

RS: Borjan-Rodin,Degenek,Stojkovic,Savic-Jovicic,Krsticic-Radonjic,Ben,Cafu-Stojiljkovic

Tough game to predict so I will probably skip this one. GL

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About Red Star, dont really know what to think. I was leaning Red Star DNB but its anything but safe. Dont really think its that big difference here (just my opinion), eventough Salzburg reached semifinal of EL last season. 

About Videoton, i dont really know how they came here. Ok, Ludogorets is in mess and they take advantage of that (also Ludo missed so many chances in first match). Difference between Malmo and Vidi is not that big imo so it was coin flip. Dont know much about AEK but have feeling Vidi jurney ends here. Vidi had some big wins over past few seasons (like against Bordeaux) and will be hoping for more of the same. Still, unlikely in my eyes.

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Football Facts and Streaks regarding Champions League

Dynamo Kyiv has under 2.5 goals in their last 4 games in all competitions.
Dinamo Zagreb scored in last 9 games in all competitions.
Videoton has under 2.5 goals in their last 5 home games in all competitions.
Ajax scored in last 4 games in all competitions.
AEK Athens scored in last 3 games in all competitions.
Dynamo Kyiv scored in last 3 away games in all competitions.

You can find interesting 51 Football Betting Streaks for 22.08.2018 on this link ... http://eurofootballrumours.com/football-facts-and-streaks-22-08-2018-10959

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Ajax vs Dynamo Kiev

The game I'm focusing on tonight is between two regular participants in the European competitions with Dutch side Ajax hosting Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev in an 8pm kick-off from the Amsterdam Arena. The odds heavily favour the Amsterdam side but is that reasonable?

Ajax have eased their way to this stage of the competition so far. The 2nd Qualifying Round saw Erik ten Hag's side beat Austrian side Sturm Graz 5-1 on aggregate. That included an impressive 3-1 win away. The 3rd Qualifying Round then saw another solid pair of performances in a 5-2 aggregate victory over Belgian club Standard Liege. The 3-0 win at home showing how dangerous Ajax are on home turf.

Dynamo Kiev only came into this competition in the 3rd Qualifying Round but their performances over the two legs against Czech Republic outfit Slavia Prague were business-like. A resilient 1-1 draw away from home in the first leg was followed up by a professional display that resulted in a 2-0 win at home.

It has been a summer of change for Ajax. The disappointment of finishing 2nd to PSV in the Eredivisie last season was worsened by the departure of Justin Kluivert to Roma for €22.75 million. The club has moved quickly to compensate for that loss with the signings of Daley Blind from Manchester United for €16 million, Dusan Tadic from Southampton for €11.4 million, Hassane Bande from KV Mechelen for €8.25 million, and Zakaria Labyad from Utrecht for €7 million. Sound business indeed.

Alyaksandr Khatskevich has also overseen a summer of wholesale changes at his club. After missing out on the title to Shakhtar Donetsk by just 2 points, improvements were needed. The club has seen 21 players depart the club and 15 players come in through the door.

The odds are in favour of Ajax here and rightly so. They have looked dominant at home in this competition so far. Are Dynamo Kiev much better than the Sturm Graz and Standard Liege sides they've faced so far? Undoubtedly, yes. This makes me reluctant to back a -1 handicap but I'm confident they can do enough to win.

I'm less confident they'll qualify because Dynamo tough to beat in Ukraine. Dynamo have won all four of their league games so far by a 1-0 score-line. On the plus side, it means their defence is emphatic. On the downside, it means they're struggling to score against the likes of Vorskla Poltava, FC Lviv, and FC Oleksandriya so will they even threaten a defence like that of Ajax? I can see a tight win for the home side here in a low-scoring game.

Ajax to Win @ 1.67 with Coral

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.86 with Unibet

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