Club Brugge will host Benfica on Wednesday night for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s round of 16. Brugge took eleven points from six games to finish behind Porto but ahead of Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid while Benfica topped Group H, finishing ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Maccabi Haifa. Club Brugge came closest to winning the European Cup in 1977-78 when they lost the final of the competition to Liverpool in London. Benfica are one of the biggest clubs in the game and they have lifted the European Cup twice in their history, beating Barcelona in Bern in 1961 and against Real Madrid in Amsterdam the following year. Benfica made it to the quarterfinals of the competition last season only to be eliminated by Liverpool. Here’s what you need to know:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Wednesday, Feb. 15 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Jan Breydel Stadium — Brugge, Belgium
- TV and live stream: Paramount+
- Odds: Club Brugge +330; Draw +250; Benfica -120 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Club Brugge vs. Benfica
- Joao Mario plays on the wings for Benfica. The 29-year-old Portuguese has contributed four goals and one assist in 523 minutes of Champions League football. All four of those goals came from open play. Mario has registered four shots on target, completing eight take-ons and creating eight chances.
- Benfica have proven sharper than Club Brugge in the final third. They have scored more goals (16 to seven) as well as registered more shots on target (35 to 19), completed more take-ons (55 to 34) and created more chances (63 to 35).
- Coach Scott Parker was appointed by Club Brugge in December of 2022. The 42-year-old Englishman began his coaching career in 2019 with Fulham, going on to spend two years at Craven Cottage before leaving for Bournemouth. He got both clubs promoted to the Premier League. Roger Schmidt joined Benfica during the summer of 2022. The 55-year-old German began his coaching career in 2004 with Delbrücker SC. Since then, he has spent time with SC Preußen Münster, SC Paderborn 07, RB Salzburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Beijing Guan and, most recently, PSV Eindhoven.
- Benfica use the ball differently to Club Brugge. They have taken more touches (4,051 to 3,671) as well as completed more passes (2,468 to 2,094), passes into the final third (634 to 413), through balls (four to two) and crosses (19 to 16), all while conceding possession on fewer occasions (50 to 54). Brugge, however, have completed more long balls (213 to 204) – reflecting a more direct approach. Club Brugge have conceded fewer goals than Benfica (four to seven). They have also won more aerial duels (87 to 77), but it is Benfica who have won more tackles (140 to 89) and interceptions (80 to 49) as well as conceding fewer shots on goal (63 to 101).
Despite losing key player Enzo Fernandez who joined Chelsea in January, Benfica are still the main candidate to win this round of 16 clash against Brugge. Pick: Benfica 2, Club Brugge 0