Champions League Preview: Benfica - Chelsea
The Eagles are unbeaten at the Estadio da Luz in this season's Champions League, with Roberto Di Matteo's side struggling to find victories on the road in the 2011-12 competition.
By Oliver Platt
Pereira, Luisao, Jardel, Emerson
Gaitan, Witsel, Bruno Cesar
Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole
Sturridge, Mata, Ramires
Pablo Aimar came off of the bench only to receive a red card against Olhanense at the weekend so Jorge Jesus may choose to stick with Nicolas Gaitan, Axel Witsel and Bruno Cesar in midfield.
Nelson Oliveira will compete with Rodrigo for a place in the Benfica attack, with the latter boasting a stronger goal scoring record this season.
Defender Ezequiel Garay and striker Yannick Djalo will be missing due to injury.
Roberto Di Matteo is hoping Branislav Ivanovic can recover from a thigh injury in time to feature but if not Jose Bosingwa will start at right back. In the center of defense David Luiz could return at the expense of Gary Cahill against his old club.
Otherwise Di Matteo is unlikely to sway too much from the side that beat Napoli in the previous round. Didier Drogba will probably be preferred to Fernando Torres in attack while Raul Meireles is also in contention for a place in midfield.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Benfica had not suffered defeat in the league until it lost to Guimaraes in February. That match was the first of a run of three games without victory, including a 3-2 loss to Porto, which now tops the table.
- Striker Rodrigo has bagged eight goals in the league for Benfica this season but scored just once in 17 matches while on loan with Bolton Wanderers from Real Madrid during the 2010-11 campaign.
- The Eagles overturned a 3-2 first leg deficit to progress past Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg in the previous round.
- Chelsea will meet Benfica on Tuesday for the first time. Portuguese sides have not been kind to English counterparts this season. Sporting Lisbon knocked Manchester City out of the Europa League while Benfica played a part in Manchester United's Champions League elimination.
- The Blues do have two former Eagles players in their ranks to help them out on the night. David Luiz and Ramires were teammates in Lisbon before joining Chelsea.
- Chelsea has not won away from home in the Champions League this season. The club lost games against Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen and drew with Genk and Valencia.
- Chelsea will feel confident if it is able to keep the score close in Portugal, however, having won all four of its home fixtures in the competition this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Benfica 0-2 Chelsea
- 18.32 %
Benfica 1-2 Chelsea
- 17.87 %
Benfica 1-3 Chelsea
- 11.39 %
|Europa League (EL)||May 15, 2013||Benfica 1 - Chelsea 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Apr 4, 2012||Chelsea 2 - Benfica 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Mar 27, 2012||Benfica 0 - Chelsea 1|
|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|
|Feb 20, 2014||PAOK 0 - Benfica 1||EL|
|33||Jardel Nivaldo Vieira||Defender|
|20||Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián Gaitán||Midfielder|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed