Xavi managed his first match for Barcelona in their derby victory over Espanyol and will be hoping for more of the same here hosting Benfica in Champions League matchday 5 action on Paramount+. Benfica will want to bring more of the team that scored ten in their last two competitive matches and less of the team that let in five versus Bayern Munich but since they could be out of Champions League with a loss here that should provide enough motivation.
Benfica won the reverse fixture by a 3-0 score for their only Champions League win so far and will hope for a repeat led by Julian Weigl setting the pace for the defense. All of Barcelona's attack has come via Memphis Depay so stopping him will be key for Benfica but that is also something that is easier said than done. Barcelona have been an anemic attack as well with only seven shots on target in Champions League play. Only Malmo has fewer with four.
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Here's are storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Nov. 23 | Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Camp Nou -- Barcelona, Spain
- Live stream: Paramount+
- Odds: Barcelona -155; Draw +310; Benfica +410 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Barcelona: Will the good feelings from Xavi see Barcelona though? It's tough to know what to expect from the team as Ronald Koeman destroyed the side's style and was ultimately quit on by everyone and as Xavi has only managed in Qatar, the step up to Barcelona is massive. Luckily situations like this are easier when you have very good players and that's something on Barcelona's side.
Benfica: Does this team have anything left in the tank after getting obliterated by Bayern? While Benfica had a good defensive showing in their first few matches, they allowed nine goals in two games to the German champions. They'll need the defense to be up to their best to stop Depay while Derwin Nunez will hope that he's able to find space but it feels like the best case scenario from a Benfica perspective is a draw and that just isn't enough
Depay will be too strong to stop and even if Benfica does stop him that opens space for Ansu Fati. Barcelona will prove to be too much of a challenge. Pick: Barcelona 2, Benfica 0