Paul Higham says the in-form Cody Gakpo is a value goalscorer bet as PSV face Benfica in their Champions League qualifier.
PSV Eindhoven v Benfica
Tuesday 24 August, 20:00 BST kick-off
It’s a shame this is merely a Champions League qualifier with two former European champions battling it out for a place in this year’s tournament.
In a repeat of the 1988 European Cup final (which ended 0-0 before PSV won on pens) this tie is finely balanced after Benfica earned a 2-1 success in Lisbon last week.
Something had to give in the first leg as it was Roger Schmidt’s PSV who lost their 100% winning start to the season while Jorge Jesus has since seen his side win again in the league to make it six straight victories to start the season.
Another plus side for Benfica is the fact they’ve not yet conceded the first goal this season while they’ve scored exactly twice in every game.
Cody Gakpo’s strike for PSV in the first leg was just the second goal Benfica have conceded this term but after both teams scored in the first leg then we should probably expect more of the same in Eindhoven.
And it’s Gakpo who is the subject of our Tuesday best bet as his anytime goalscorer odds are given a big boost by the presence of the prolific Eran Zahavi in the PSV line-up.
While Zahavi is a prohibitive odds-on price to score here, Gakpo is a backable 11/5 to score, just as he did last week in a promising performance in Portugal.
Gakpo hit the target with three of his four shots in Lisbon, bettering Zahavi with one on target from three efforts on goal.
The 21-year-old scored seven in an injury-hit campaign last season and now has two goals in Europe this term with just over 45 minutes played in the Eredivisie so far as he’s been kept back for their Champions League campaign.
He’s contributed to a goal in four of his last six games and it looked in the first leg like he could have Benfica’s number.
Without Zahavi he wouldn’t be such an attractive price but that can work to our advantage here in what is a value selection.