Mean defences to rule roost when Benfica take on Juventus

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Anyone tuning into the Europa League semi-final between Benfica and Juventus might be disappointed by the lack of goals, but that means ample opportunity to turn a profit from this potential snore fest.

Such a glamorous sounding tie is deserving of goals aplenty, however, this is a meeting of two defences that are so mean that they could make a grown man cry.

Benfica enter the arena off the back of seven straight clean sheets in all competitions since a brief scare against Tottenham in the return leg of their Europa League round-of-16 tie.

AZ Alkmaar were the latest team to run into the Benfica buffers in the quarters, going down 2-0 to the recently crowned Portuguese champions at the Estadio da Luz, following a clinical 1-0 victory over in Holland.

All that could easily point to an eighth win to nil on the bounce for the hosts at 31/10, though that’s before considering the formidable defence they are up against.

The Old Lady of Turin has been in particularly stingy mood herself recently, not conceding a goal on her travels since dropping into Europe’s ugly-duckling competition.

Furthermore, Antonio Conte’s Serie A-dominating side have only been breached once in their last five competitive games, all of which were victories.

To the humble punter all of this translates to the tasty prospect of plumping for the 6/1 about the game ending goalless.

But if this feels to risky, then 4/7 on fewer than 2.5 goals being scored looks like printable mullah, while 7/4 on less than 1.5 total goals may well be the pick of the bunch.

A draw and under 2.5 goals at 23/10 also gets a special mention in dispatches.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.