Connect with us


Club Brugge vs Benfica Preview – Prediction, how to watch & potential line-ups

Club Brugge’s debut in the Champions League knockout stage pits them against Primeira Liga heavyweights Benfica in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie on Wednesday.

The reigning Belgian champions cannot dodge Portuguese rivals on the European front this season after finishing runners-up to Porto in Group B thanks to a stellar run of five clean sheets across six group matches. 

Despite being new to the Champions League knockout requirements, Brugge proved their continental credentials by leaving non-other than Atletico Madrid in their wake during the group phase.

However, the Blauw-Zwart have stuttered of late in domestic proceedings, registering just one victory in nine matches after the World Cup break (D6, L2). 

Midway through that underwhelming spell of form, Brugge brought in former Fulham and Bournemouth manager Scott Parker, hoping to turn their fortunes around ahead of the Champions League return.

Instead of steadying the ship, Parker has turned his team into ‘stalemate specialists,’ with the Belgian powerhouse drawing five of their seven games under his tutelage (W1, L1).

That’s unlikely to inspire much confidence ahead of the visit of Benfica, who claimed a top finish in a highly competitive Group H ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Maccabi Haifa.

After an almost flawless seven-game start to the new calendar year in domestic football (W6, D1), the Eagles suffered a Taca de Portugal exit to fierce rivals Sporting Braga after penalties last weekend.

Although they suffered a setback in the build-up, Benfica will take the field as pre-match favourites, looking to lay the foundation for a first Champions League quarter-final appearance since 2015/16.

Match Preview 

Club Brugge

Brugge must show the same defensive resilience that provided the backbone for their impressive group-stage run if they’re to defy a dismal run of four losses from their last five European games against Portuguese opponents (W1). 

Their return of three wins from six group-stage matches accounts for their best wins tally in a single Champions League season since 1977/78, when five victories navigated their way into the grand final. 

Parker will be keen to impress on his European debut as a manager as he’s set to become only the third English coach to o take charge of a foreign team in the Champions League. 


Spanning back to the 2021/22 campaign, Benfica are unbeaten in their last seven Champions League fixtures (W4, D3), including back-to-back wins down the final stretch of this season’s group stage.  

Another triumph here would see the Primeira League giants post three consecutive wins in Europe’s elite competition for the first time since 2005/06. 

Given that they’ve lost just one of their 14 European contests against Belgian opposition (W9, D4), including a run of five straight unbeaten such match-ups (W4, D1), they’ll aim high at Jan Breydel. 

Club Brugge vs Benfica Potential Line-ups

Club Brugge (4-3-3): Simon Mignolet; Clinton Mata, Jack Hendry, Brandon Mechele, Bjorn Meijer; Mats Rits, Raphael Onyedika, Hans Vanaken; Tajon Buchanan, Roman Yaremchuk, Noa Lang. 

Benfica (4-2-3-1): Odysseas Vlachodimos; Alexander Bah, Antonio Silva, Nicolas Otamendi, Alex Grimaldo; Chiquinho, Florentino; Joao Mario, David Neres, Fredrik Aursnes; Goncalo Guedes.

How to Watch?

Brugge vs Benfica, alongside all other matches in Europe’s most prestigious club competition this season, is available to watch online via Champions League live streams.

And if you are interested in attending a future UCL game, see our Champions League tickets page for more information.

Club Brugge vs Benfica Prediction 

Brugge’s woeful start to 2023 only strengthens Benfica’s tag as odds-on favourites in this tie, but we don’t expect the visitors to seal their progression on Wednesday.

We back Roger Schmidt’s side to put one foot in the quarter-finals with a narrow win.

Club Brugge 0-1 Benfica

More in Benfica