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UEFA Europa League

  • 15 May 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
  • Referee: B. Kuipers
  • • Attendance: 46163
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Benfica - Chelsea Preview: Blues boast 100% record against Jorge Jesus' side

Benfica - Chelsea Preview: Blues boast 100% record against Jorge Jesus' side

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The English side look set to be without John Terry and Eden Hazard for the Europa League final at the Amsterdam ArenA against a side who have lost just twice since September


Benfica go into the game on the back of a disastrous last-minute defeat to arch rivals Porto which could cost them their domestic title - their second loss since September.

On the injury front, though, manager Jorge Jesus doesn't have any problems to contend with.

Rafa Benitez is set to be without John Terry (ankle) and Eden Hazard (hamstring) for the Europa League final after both picked up injuries in Saturday's 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

Fernando Torres will continue in attack for the Blues as Demba Ba is cup-tied having already turned out in the competition for Newcastle earlier in the season.

Apart from that, Chelsea have a fully fit squad to take to Amsterdam.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Wednesday will see Benfica take part in their ninth major European final.

  • The Portuguese giants are on a run of six straight European final defeats since lifting the European Cup in 1962.
  • Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo (pictured) has scored in six of his team's last ten matches against English teams. He is 11/2 with Paddy Power to open the scoring on Wednesday.

  • The Portuguese outfit go into the final having played exactly twice as many European games as their rivals, 362 to the Blues' 181.
  • The sides met for the first time last season when Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea won 1-0 in Lisbon and 2-1 at home to eliminate Jorge Jesus' men in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
  • The Blues are aiming to become the first team to win Uefa's top-two club competitions in reverse order in successive campaigns.
  • Chelsea could also become only the fourth team to lift all three of Uefa's major club trophies, after Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich.

Players to watch

O. Cardozo

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

The Paraguay international has six goals in eight games in this season's Europa League and will once again be vital for Benfica's chances of lifting the cup. The 29-year-old also has an impressive record against English clubs having netted six times in his last ten appearances against Premier League sides.

The striker possesses a powerful left foot which is equally adept from open play as it is during set-pieces. Cardozo, though, does rely heavily on the service from wide areas through Salvio and Gaitan. If Chelsea manage to cut off the supply line then they could nip the striker's threat in the bud.

David Luiz

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

The Brazilian was exceptional for the Blues over both legs of the semi-final against Basel, scoring spectacular goals home and away to seal Chelsea's progression to the final. He had plenty of detractors upon arrival at Stamford Bridge but his performances have improved markedly ever since a positional shift into central midfield under Rafa Benitez.

The 26-year-old comes up against his old side on Wednesday; his power, skill and passing ability alongside Ramires in the middle of the park should allow the Blues to dictate the game at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Editor's Prediction

Jorge Jesus' side are a mixed bag. At times they are capable of producing some exhilarating passing football at an intensity which carves teams open at will. Whereas, on other occasions, such as over the two-legged quarter-final tie against Newcastle, they can look laboured and uninspired for long periods.

Chelsea have an embarrassment of creative talent and, if afforded time and space, the likes of Juan Mata and Oscar can pick apart even the tightest of defences. A lot could depend on which Fernando Torres turns up, if the Spaniard has his shooting boots on, it's hard to look past the Blues.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Benfica

Chelsea

Wins
0
0
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

SL Benfica SLB
SL Benfica Benfica
Draw
Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
20%
76%

Top 3 Predictions

SL Benfica SLB
1 - 3
Chelsea FC CHE
SL Benfica SLB
1 - 2
Chelsea FC CHE
SL Benfica SLB
0 - 2
Chelsea FC CHE

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