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UEFA Champions League

  • 4 April 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: D. Skomina
  • • Attendance: 37264
2
FT
1

Chelsea win Aggregate 3 - 1

Chelsea - Benfica Preview: Blues have won every Champions League game at Stamford Bridge this season

Di Matteo's side are looking to secure their place in this year's semi-finals by claiming their fifth Champions League victory in a row when they face the Eagles on Wednesday


PROBABLE LINEUPS

Chelsea

Cech
Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole
Lampard, Essien, Ramires
Mata, Torres, Sturridge
Benfica

Artur
Maxi Pereira, Luisao, Javi Garcia, Emerson
Matic
Bruno Cesar, Aimar, Gaitan

Cardozo, Rodrigo

Didier Drogba may be sidelined for the hosts after missing the win over Aston Villa on Saturday with a toe injury while Raul Meireles(knee), another who didn't feature at Villa Park, faces competition from Frank Lampard, Ramires and Michael Essien for a starting place in midfield if he re-gains fitness.

David Luiz sustained ankle ligament damage during in the game and probably won't feature, Gary Cahill is likely to step in for the Brazilian, after replacing him against the Villans.

Up front, Roberto Di Matteo's only real decision is whether to play Daniel Sturridge or Salomon Kalou, however he may choose to play another midfielder depending on his gameplan.

The visitors are in somewhat of an injury crisis with several of first team players ruled out for the trip to London.

Defenders Ezequiel Garay, Jardel and Miguel Vitor are all in line to miss this tie with injuries, leaving defensive midfielder Javi Garcia a probable make-shift centre-half.

Meanwhile youngsters Luis Martins, Andre Almeida and Ruben Pinto will travel with the squad for the clash.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Chelsea have won every home game in the Champions League this season.
  • The Blues have scored 14 at Stamford bridge, while conceding just once, the least of anyone in the tournament.
  • No English side has ever failed to progress from Europe after winning the first-leg away from home.
  • Excluding qualifiers, the hosts have scored in ten European matches in a row for the first time, consecutively winning their last four games.
  • The Premier League team have netted first in every one of their nine Champions League games this season.
  • Benfica have failed to claim a victory against English opposition in their last five attempts.
  • Argentine playmaker, Nicolas Gaitan has the joint most assists in the competition along with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema. (5)
  • The visitors have netted eight out of their 12 goals in the first-half, the highest proportion of any side in this season's tournament.
  • The first leg, in which Di Matteo (pictured) masterminded the Blues to a 1-0 victory, was the first time that Benfica failed to find the back of the net in the Champions League this campaign.
  • Chelsea have David Luiz, Ashley Cole and Raul Meireles one yellow away from missing the semi-finals. The Eagles also have no less then five players walking the tightrope: Artur, Ezequiel Garay, Luisao, Bruno Cesar and Javi Garcia.

Players to watch

A. Cole

Position: Defender

Games: 0

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The left-back needs to be careful in this one as he sits precariously one booking away from missing the semi-final, if Chelsea see off their opponents.

With relatively unexperienced Ryan Bertrand the only other natural left-back in the squad, other options involving someone such as Jose Bosingwa playing on their weaker side, the Englishman's suspension is something Di Matteo will desperately want to avoid - especially with Lionel Messi of Barcelona potentially waiting in the next stage.

Javi García

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
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Due to the Portuguese side's defensive injury crisis the midfielder is probably going to have to slot in at the back, something a couple of weeks ago he would have been happy to do against Fernando Torres.

However the Spaniard played a part in Chelsea's goal against Benfica in the first-leg, as well as producing a superb display topped with a goal against Villa in the Premier League on Saturday, he could well face a very tough test.

Editor's Prediction

It's hard to see Chelsea throwing this one away. The Premier League side head into the game in fine form under Di Matteo, having won six from eight games. The Blues managed to nullify the Portuguese outfit's attacking threat in the first-leg and you'd fancy that to be the case again at their fortress, Stamford Bridge.

Add to this the fact that Torres is finding his feet as well as Juan Mata shining week in week out the west Londoners should have enough to bag another goal or two and secure their progression to the semi-finals.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Chelsea

Benfica

Wins
3
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
Draw
SL Benfica SLB
SL Benfica Benfica
83%

Top 3 Predictions

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

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