Lewandowski to stake Ballon d'Or claim at Benfica

Second-placed Benfica will take on current UEFA Champions League Group E leaders Bayern Munich at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, hoping for any kind of result to fend off a recovery by either Barcelona or Dynamo Kyiv in the pool. As Águias were made to sweat by second tier Trofense in the Portuguese Cup, and it took extra time for the visitors to triumph, and a far more ruthless showing will be required to stand a chance of defeating FC Hollywood, even in their home patch. Read our preview here:

Makes for Grim reading

The thoroughly deserved 3-0 whitewashing of Barça felt like a distant dream when Portimonense came to the capital just prior to the international break, destroying the hosts' unblemished domestic record with a shock 1-0 victory. Head coach Jorge Jesus will be hoping for far better than their last two outings, which have seen a few cracks start to form in what had hitherto been a deeply impressive start. They will have their full roster to count on for Wednesday's important clash, save for two faces - Austrian right wing-back Valentino Lazaro remains sidelined, as does hard-working Swiss forward Haris Seferovic. Gilberto and Roman Yaremchuk will continue in their respective places. On the opposite flank, Álex Grimaldo has an unenviable task of trying to keep the combination of Serge Gnabry and the returning Benjamin Pavard quiet, and he's going to need some help from his teammates in that endeavour. The 26 year old likes to get forward, but will almost certainly have those ambitions clipped, and could be targeted aerially. In midfield,

Robert's plant

In any other era, Robert Lewandowski would probably be the favourite to claim this year's Ballon d'Or award; the 33 year old complete forward's numbers are nigh-on peerless season after season, with perhaps only Poland's relative struggles holding him back from the nod. Nevertheless, he has crashed in four goals in two continental games, and will fancy his chances against a 3-4-3 shape where the wing-backs will almost certainly be pinned into their own defensive third. Alphonso Davies came off in the first-half of their 5-1 thwacking away to Bayer Leverkusen, and is a major doubt for the midweek encounter - Julian Nagelsmann won't be overly concerned, especially when he has Lucas Hernández to count on. The French international will move across to left back to fill the vacant slot.

Jesus, please us

Bayern will do what they always do - take the game to the opposition and attack relentlessly. Whilst Benfica's demolition of Barcelona was impressive, it has to be taken in the context that the Spanish giants are dysfunctional and erratic on and off the pitch at present. A draw for the hosts isn't out of the question, but neither is Lewandowski racking up the goals - Casumo have odds of 3.80 for the ageless striker to score at least twice.

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