Goal.com - Home

thumbnail Hello,
0 vs 0
September 19, 2012 7:45 PM BST
Celtic Park — Glasgow
Referee:‬ N. Rizzoli‎
Attendance:‬ 57759‎

Celtic - Benfica Preview: Hoops looking to continue 100% home record in Europe this season

The Old Firm club fell foul to St Johnstone in the SPL last time out, but the Scottish champions will undoubtedly step up their game against their Portuguese opponents

By Sion Cleaver

CL - Celtic v HJK Helsinki, Charlie Mulgrew of Celtic
Getty Images


 Lustig, Wilson, Mulgrew, Izaguirre
 Forrest, Wanyama, Brown, Commons
Hooper, Miku

 Pereira, Vitor, Garay, Melgarejo
Salvio, Martins, Aimar, Nolito
Cardozo, Rodrigo

Celtic will be without mercurial striker Georgios Samaras (thigh) for the visit of Benfica after the Greek forward pick up an injury on international duty.

Scott Brown (hip) has expressed his desire to step up his recovery in recent weeks but the clash at Parkhead is likely to come too early for him.

Thomas Rogne was recently fined by the Glasgow club after making comments on Twitter about his disappointment over his contract, and it is unclear whether he will be included or not.

The visitors may be without experienced defender Luisao. The Brazilian has been given a two-month domestic ban after an incident in pre-season and, while the suspension does not directly affect European football, he is unlikely to play.

  • Celtic are competing in the group stage for the seventh time and have made it to the last 16 twice before.
  • Neil Lennon's side have already posted two victories at home in this season's competition, beating HJK Helsinki 2-1 in the third qualifying round and Helsingborgs 2-0 in the play-offs.
  • Benfica reached the quarter-finals last season, their best campaign since 2005-06 and only the third time they have got beyond the group stage in seven attempts.
  • The Lisbon club went five away games unbeaten from the third qualifying round through the group stage last season, but lost their knockout matches at Zenit St Petersburg and Chelsea.
  • The two sides faced each other in the 2007-08 group stage, each picking up a 1-0 win.
  • Celtic have recorded nine wins and one draw from ten home matches against Portuguese opponents. Their most recent visitors were SC Braga for a Champions League qualifier in 2010-11 but a 2-1 victory failed to undo the damage of a 3-0 away defeat in Neil Lennon's first European tie as manager.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Nov 20, 2012 Benfica 2 - Celtic 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Sep 19, 2012 Celtic 0 - Benfica 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Dec 11, 2013FC Barcelona 6 - Celtic 1UCL
Nov 26, 2013Celtic 0 - AC Milan 3UCL
Nov 6, 2013Ajax 1 - Celtic 0UCL
Oct 22, 2013Celtic 2 - Ajax 1UCL
Oct 1, 2013Celtic 0 - FC Barcelona 1UCL
Apr 16, 2014Benfica 3 - Porto 1TDeP
Apr 13, 2014FC Arouca 0 - Benfica 2POR1
Apr 10, 2014Benfica 2 - AZ 0EL
Apr 7, 2014Benfica 4 - Rio Ave 0POR1
Apr 3, 2014AZ 0 - Benfica 1EL
Team News
Available Squads
1Fraser ForsterGoalkeeper
2Adam MatthewsDefender
3E. IzaguirreDefender
6Kelvin WilsonDefender
21Charles MulgrewDefender
2M. LustigDefender
8Scott BrownMidfielder
15Kris CommonsMidfielder
49James ForrestMidfielder
12Victor WanyamaMidfielder
24Lukasz ZaluskaGoalkeeper
15E. AmbroseDefender
-Thomas RogneDefender
30Paul SlaneMidfielder
36Niouoi LassadStriker
11Gary HooperStriker
-Tony WattStriker
24Ezequiel GarayDefender
28L. MelgarejoStriker
33Jardel Nivaldo VieiraDefender
10Pablo AimarMidfielder
18Toto SalvioMidfielder
20Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián GaitánMidfielder
21Nemanja MatićMidfielder
35Enzo Nicolás PérezMidfielder
30André AlmeidaMidfielder
13Paulo LopesGoalkeeper
-Miguel VítorDefender
30Bruno CésarMidfielder
-André GomesMidfielder
7Ó. CardozoStriker
Players to Watch
Kris Commons
Kris Commons
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 15
Games Goals YC RC
8 2 2 0
The former Nottingham Forest midfielder has a keen eye for goal and will look to break forward in support of Gary Hooper and Miku. The Scotland international has already scored five goals in eight appearances so far this term.
Ó. Cardozo
Ó. Cardozo
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
4 1 0 0
The Paraguayan striker is always one of Benfica's biggest threats and has already proved to be a match-winner in this fixture before, hitting the only goal of the game when the sides met in October 2007.
Celtic endured a disastrous afternoon against St Johnstone at the weekend, while Benfica have started the season in fine form, winning two and drawing the other of their three games so far this season. The Aguias are likely to continue their good run despite a boisterous atmosphere at Parkhead.
Editor's Prediction
Celtic 1
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
10 1
Messi Messi
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Atl. Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
6 2