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UEFA Europa League

  • May 1, 2014
  • • 3:05 PM
  • • Allianz Stadium, Torino
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 40775

Benfica win Aggregate 2 - 1

Lima celebrates his goal against Juventus

Europa League Preview: Juventus - Benfica

Lima celebrates his goal against Juventus

One goal for Juventus against Benfica on Thursday could prove enough to see the club contest the UEFA Europa League final on home turf.

A stunning Lima strike six minutes from time at the Estadio da Luz handed Benfica a slender advantage ahead of Thursday's second leg in Turin, but Carlos Tevez's away goal for Juve could potentially prove crucial.

Tevez's 73rd-minute strike, which equalized Ezequiel Garay's early opener, means a 1-0 win for Antonio Conte's team at the Juventus Stadium this week would put the club through to the Europa League final at its own stadium on May 14.

However, Juve has struggled to keep clean sheets at home in European competition this term. 

Although the Italian champion, which is on course for a third straight domestic title, has not been beaten in its six continental outings at home in 2013-14, the club has managed just one shutout. 

Conte's side will face a buoyant Benfica outfit, which followed up its Primeira Liga title success last week by sealing a place in the Taca da Liga final with a win over rival Porto on penalties at the weekend. 

Benfica also has fine pedigree in the Europa League, and is the only unbeaten team left in this season's competition following the disappointment of losing last year's final to Chelsea. 

Jorge Jesus' charges have won their last four European away fixtures, but Conte is confident the club can be put off its stride by a vocal Juventus Stadium crowd.

"We are going to play with 12 men on Thursday, I am convinced of it, and Benfica had better beware because the fans are going to enter the fray," he told Sky Sport Italia. "What excites me is these three years in charge of Juventus. This has been a truly incredible journey, if we think that three years ago we overcame all the odds.

"I reiterate I want on Thursday for the supporters to create a fiery cauldron in the stadium, just as Benfica’s fans did in Lisbon."

Juve has won 21 and drawn three of its home games in all competitions this season, and could be crowned Serie A champion again this weekend. 

Benfica, though, is on course for a quadruple, as the club is in the finals of both the Taca da Liga and the Taca de Portugal and has won its last eight games including the Sunday's shootout success over Porto. 

First-leg hero Lima feels his teammates have the quality to make a third final of the season in Italy this week.

"We will go to Turin as a united team to try to go through with humility. We have the quality and the ability to achieve that," he told

Arturo Vidal is a doubt for Juve with a knee injury while Ljubomir Fejsa (foot), Silvio (leg), Eduardo Salvio (arm) and Nicolas Gaitan (thigh) could all miss out for the visiting side.

Last Five Matches

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Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Juventus FC JUV
Juventus FC Juventus
SL Benfica SLB
SL Benfica Benfica

Top 3 Predictions

Juventus FC JUV
2 - 0
SL Benfica SLB
Juventus FC JUV
3 - 1
SL Benfica SLB
Juventus FC JUV
2 - 1
SL Benfica SLB