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UEFA Champions League

  • October 23, 2012
  • • 17:00
  • • Olimpiyskiy stadion Luzhniki, Moskva
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 41237
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Spartak Moscow - Benfica Preview: Muscovites must make the most of home advantage to kick-start their campaign

Spartak Moscow - Benfica Preview: Muscovites must make the most of home advantage to kick-start their campaign

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Both the Red-Whites and the Eagles will look for points here knowing that with Barcelona in Group G, realistically, there is only one other qualification spot up for grabs

  PROBABLE LINEUPS
SPARTAK MOSCOW

Dikan
Makeev, Bryzgalov, Suchy, Kombarov
Rafael, Kallstrom
Jurado, Ari, Bil'yov
Welliton
BENFICA

Moraes
 Pereira, Jardel, Garay, Melgarejo
Salvio, Matic, Martins
Aimar, Gaitan
Cardozo

Following their narrow 2-1 loss to Anzhi Makhachkala at the weekend, Spartak coach Unai Emery must decide whether to give on-loan attacking midfielder Jurado a starting place in the team. The youngster's creativity may be needed with Spartak playing at home, and the desperate need for points, especially given that Aiden McGeady is still injured.

The rest of the line-up will most likely be similar to the side that played on Saturday, with Rafael Carioca retaining his place in the team as Romulo is out for the long term, and Dmitri Kombarov likely to drop back to left-back. Sergei Parshivlyuk and Soslan Gatagov are still missing with knee injuries.

However, Juan Insaurralde serves a one-game ban following his red card on Matchday 2, meaning that 19-year-old starlet Sergey Bryzgalov will most likely take his place.

The visitors have almost a fully fit squad to choose from. With Luisao not playing due to his continuing ban, Jardel will continue at the back with Ezequiel Garay. In midfield Nemanja Matic will supply the robustness as Aimar, Gaitan and Carlos Martins try to provide the ammunition for Oscar Cardozo to fire home.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Spartak Moscow lost their third successive league game when losing to Anzhi on Saturday - their worst run since November 2009.
  • Spartak's home record in the Champions League against teams from Portugal is W1 D2 L1.
  • So far the Spartachi are without a point in Group G after two 3-2 defeats: away against Barcelona and at home to Celtic, as Spartak conceded a 2-1 lead in both games.
  • Benfica have the unenvious record of being the team to have committed the most fouls so far in this season's Champions League: 43 offences.
  • The Eagles have scored 348 goals in total in the European Cup.

  • Key Benfica defender Luisao (pictured) is banned from all competitions until November 14 after attacking a referee in a pre-season friendly against Fortuna Dusseldorf in the summer.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
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Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Nov 7, 2012 Benfica 2 - Spartak 0
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Oct 23, 2012 Spartak 2 - Benfica 1
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Artem RebrovGoalkeeper
19Nicolás ParejaDefender
17Marek SuchyDefender
16Evgeniy MakeevDefender
5Rafael CariocaMidfielder
18JuradoMidfielder
6Kim KällströmMidfielder
99Dmitriy KombarovMidfielder
7Diniyar BilyaletdinovMidfielder
27Zhano AnanidzeMidfielder
9AriStriker
81Andriy DykanGoalkeeper
-Sergey BryzgalovDefender
-Emin MakhmudovMidfielder
77Kirill KombarovDefender
40Artem DzubaStriker
11WellitonStriker
41Vladimir ObukhovStriker
1ArturGoalkeeper
14Maxi PereiraDefender
14Ezequiel GarayDefender
28L. MelgarejoStriker
33Jardel Nivaldo VieiraDefender
18Toto SalvioMidfielder
21Nemanja MatićMidfielder
35Enzo Nicolás PérezMidfielder
30Bruno CésarMidfielder
11LimaStriker
-RodrigoStriker
13Paulo LopesGoalkeeper
-Miguel VítorDefender
20Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián GaitánMidfielder
30André AlmeidaMidfielder
-André GomesMidfielder
7Ó. CardozoStriker
24Ola JohnStriker
Players to Watch
Welliton
Welliton
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Although the Brazilian set up Diniyar Bilyaletdinov on Saturday for Spartak's only goal against Anzhi Makhachkala, he has yet to score this season. The 25-year-old frontman is due a goal, therefore, and it could arrive on Tuesday evening as Spartachi look to save themselves from early elimination in this season's competition.
Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián Gaitán
Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián Gaitán
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Nicolas Gaitan could be the man to virtually end Spartak's participation in the 2012-13 Champions League, if the attacking midfielder is able to find his best form. Should he click into gear, then, his creativity and wing-play could set up good chances for whoever leads Benfica's line, whether Oscar Cardozo, Lima or Rodrigo.
Prediction
With Spartak Moscow in the middle of some poor form in both the Russian Premier League and the Champions League, Benfica will fancy their chances of taking something from the game. The long-term injuries to several key players for the Red-Whites compounds things for Unai Emery's men. Although the Russians seem able to score against any opposition, they also concede a fair few too. Benfica are good enough to score more than once, and a score draw could be on the cards here.
Editor's Prediction

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