Champions League Preview: Benfica - Paris Saint-Germain
Jorge Jesus' side must better Olympiakos' result in order to progress to the round of 16 along with the visitors, who have already won the group.
Jorge Jesus' side needs to get a better result than Olympiakos, which hosts Anderlecht, if it is to progress to the last 16.
The Portuguese side had looked destined to crash out of the competition in its last match against Anderlecht, with the Belgian hosts pulling level in the 77th minute, but Rodrigo's stoppage-time strike earned three vital points.
The result moved Benfica level on seven points with Olympiakos, but the Greek side sits second by virtue of a superior head-to-head record.
Jesus has admitted that his priority is to win the Primeira Liga title, but he is still dreaming of reaching the Champions League final, which will be played in Benfica's Estadio da Luz.
"The big goal is the championship, which the fans are eager to win," he told UEFA.com. "The Champions League final is a second goal, which opponents and other teams have a much better possibility of reaching, but that does not mean we can't dream and work for it. It (the final being in Lisbon) is an example of quality organization and the passion Portuguese fans have for soccer, as shown in the European Championship (in 2004).
"The Champions League final will be the same. A great atmosphere in a stadium that is, in my opinion, one of the nicest world. Portuguese fans will receive everyone with great affection and respect."
PSG ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in the reverse fixture, with two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a solitary Marquinhos strike sweeping Benfica aside at the Parc des Princes.
Ibrahimovic's tally of eight group-stage goals has equalled the record shared by Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Filippo Inzaghi and Hernan Crespo, but, with PSG already confirmed as Group C winners, he looks set to be rested.
Benfica have played 12 matches at home against French sides in European competitions and not lost any, winning eight and drawing four, while PSG's record against Portuguese teams includes four losses and six victories in 14 fixtures.
Laurent Blanc's side have scored 15 goals in their first five games in the competition, a tally bettered only by Real Madrid, who have 18, while Benfica have managed only six.
Jesus' men surprisingly dropped points in a 2-2 draw at home to Primeira Liga new boys Arouca on Friday, and he has a few injuries to contend with.
Ruben Amorim (knee), Guilherme Siqueira (thigh) and Eduardo Salvio (knee) are all expected to miss out, while Oscar Cardozo (back) is a doubt after missing its last three matches.
Blanc, on the other hand, does not have many fitness issues to think about during his selection process. Lucas Digne and Adrien Rabiot both missed the weekend win over Sochaux with knocks, but they could return to the team, while other fringe players are expected start the match.
Top 3 Predictions
Benfica 1-3 PSG
- 17.77 %
Benfica 1-2 PSG
- 13.96 %
Benfica 0-3 PSG
- 10.41 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Dec 10, 2013||Benfica 2 - PSG 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 2, 2013||PSG 3 - Benfica 0|
|Club Friendlies (FRC)||Jul 15, 2011||Benfica 3 - PSG 1|
|Europa League (EL)||Mar 17, 2011||PSG 1 - Benfica 1|
|Europa League (EL)||Mar 10, 2011||Benfica 2 - PSG 1|
|Mar 13, 2014||Tottenham 1 - Benfica 3||EL|
|Mar 9, 2014||Benfica 2 - Estoril 0||POR1|
|Mar 2, 2014||Belenenses 0 - Benfica 1||POR1|
|Feb 27, 2014||Benfica 3 - PAOK 0||EL|
|Feb 24, 2014||Benfica 1 - Vitoria Guimarães 0||POR1|
|20||Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián Gaitán||Midfielder|
|35||Enzo Nicolás Pérez||Midfielder|
|33||Jardel Nivaldo Vieira||Defender|