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Nuno Gomes: 'Benfica have something to fight for'

The former Benfica striker backs his old side to "redeem themselves" and claim a place in the round of 16.

Benfica host Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday knowing that a win will take them through to the round of 16, provided Barcelona drop points at Bayern München. UEFA.com columnist Nuno Gomes sizes up the challenge for his old side.

A 3-1 home defeat by Sporting CP on Friday may well have left its mark on this Benfica team. However, they now have to refocus on a game in which they will face a team they're capable of beating. Benfica have a better side and start out as favourites, but you always have to prove that you are favourites on the pitch.

Highlights: Dynamo Kyiv 0-0 Benfica
Highlights: Dynamo Kyiv 0-0 Benfica

It's always difficult to predict Champions League results, but Benfica have an opportunity to redeem themselves in front of their fans, and return to winning ways. Of course, they have to win to continue in this competition, and even that may not be enough since Barcelona are above them in the group going into their match at Bayern.

I cannot see Benfica making major changes to their usual starting line-up. This is certainly not the moment to be changing the tactical scheme – there just isn't the time. Nicolás Otamendi might not be able to play, but even if he cannot play his usual leadership role in defence, I think Jorge Jesus will stick with the usual 3-4-3 formation.

Dynamo Kyiv coach Mircea Lucescu
Dynamo Kyiv coach Mircea LucescuAFP via Getty Images

Dynamo boss Mircea Lucescu has been saying that his side will win this match, but these mind games can backfire. If I was in this Benfica camp, I would be showing his quotes to the players and encouraging the team to do everything they can to prove him wrong.

When it comes down to it, what matters is what happens on the pitch: who plays better and who makes the most of their chances. I would definitely back Benfica because they have better players and a stronger squad. Dynamo are destined to finish bottom of this group and Benfica have something to fight for. So much rests on what happens in Munich, but all the Eagles can do is fulfil their part of the bargain.

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