Home Sports Football Champions League Fenerbahce to ride their luck in Lisbon
Fenerbahce to ride their luck in Lisbon

Fenerbahce to ride their luck in Lisbon


There are plenty of big names involved in this week’s Champions League third qualifying round, first-leg ties, including the likes of Benfica, Celtic and Ajax.

Benfica endured a tough 2017-18 campaign and could struggle against Fenerbahce in this month’s games between the two teams.

The Portuguese side lost all six of their Champions League group matches last term, including a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Basel. They also finished second in the Primeira Liga, seven points behind champions Porto.

Fenerbahce 29/10 to draw at Benfica

Coach Rui Vitoria has overseen wholesale changes to his squad over the summer, with nine new players arriving and a similar number leaving Estadio da Luz.

Fenerbahce failed to get past the play-off round of the Europa League last season but they were runners-up in the Super Lig.

Phillip Cocu has assembled a strong squad that includes Andre Ayew and Brazilian duo Giuliano and Josef de Souza.

The Turkish team may be strong enough to advance to the play-off round.

Celtic 13/2 to beat AEK Athens 2-0

Celtic have suffered some embarrassing defeats in Europe in the last few years, but Brendan Rodgers’ team have successfully negotiated tricky matches against Rosenborg and Alashkert so far in this season’s Champions League.

They face an AEK Athens team on Wednesday that may be rusty as they have not had a competitive match since they lost 2-0 to PAOK in the Greek Cup final in May.

The Scottish champions may need a two-goal lead to take to Athens for the second leg although on current form they are more than capable of securing such an advantage.

Standard Liege 9/4 to beat Ajax

Ajax eased past Sturm Graz 5-1 on aggregate in the last round, but Standard Liege will present them with more problems than the Austrian outfit this week.

The Belgian team finished last term strongly and were eventually runners-up behind champions Club Brugge.

It promises to be a tight two-legged affair, with goals at a premium, and although Ajax should eventually progress to the play-off round, it may not be straightforward.

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Mark Race Having worked in the media for nearly 30 years, Mark knows his sport inside out and at all levels. An avid football fan, Mark also has serious knowledge of the tennis world and is quick to point out value bets in a number of other sports.