Match Preview – Benfica (A)

Europa League Quarter Final 1st Leg
Thursday 01 April 2010 - 8:05 pm
Estadio de Luz
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Liverpool’s fans, players and staff dust down their passports once again as we take on Portuguese giants Sport Lisboa e Benfica on Thursday. Our opponents are having a fantastic season and will be well fancied to give Liverpool a real football examination.  Former Liverpool targets and some players that Rafa knows well could be instrumental for the Portugese league leaders, players including the likes of Javier Saviola and Pablo Aimar.

In October Benfica hammered Everton 5-0, handing the blues their biggest European defeat in history.  And it was Benfica who knocked European Champions Liverpool out of the European Cup in 2006.


Liverpool and Benfica have had some fantastic European games down the years.  The clubs met in the 77/78, 83/84 and 84/85 European Cup campaigns. Liverpool progressing every time over the two legs and reaching the European Cup final in all 3 years.

After being crowned European Cup winners in 2005, the reds progressed from their group the following season only to be faced with Benfica in the first knockout round.  The omens from history suggested that if Liverpool could get past Benfica then they would once again reach a European Cup final.

It wasn’t to be as the Portuguese side beat Liverpool 1-0 at home before adding insult to injury with a 2-0 defeat of the reds at Anfield, sending us out of the tournament.

Injuries and Suspensions

Maxi Rodriguez is cup-tied for all European games this season.  Fabio Aurelio and Martin Skrtel are Liverpool’s two main injury concerns.


After last season’s title charge this season has been a disappointment for reds fans.  Despite a huge improvement in home form in the Premier League, Liverpool’s exemplary away record has disappeared this season.  In European football the reds have been as bad away as at Anfield.  Liverpool’s exit from the Champions League can clearly be pinpointed to three games which saw late late goals scored against the reds after defensive switch-offs.

Meanwhile, Benfica have amassed a 6 points lead at the top of the Portuguese Liga and with 6 games left looks odds on to win their 32nd title, a Portuguese record, and their first since 2004/05.  Their form domestically has been excellent but they have been even more fearsome in Europe.  In this season’s Europa Cup they are undefeated at home. Winning 5 times and drawing once. They have scored 18 goals and conceded just twice.  They played Everton twice in the group stage, beating them 5-0 at home before beating them 2-0 at Goodison.

Liverpool come in to this game on the back of an excellent performance against Sunderland.

Benfica have not lost a game since October 2009.  They have won 6 of their last 7 games, drawing once.


Liverpool –(from) Pepe Reina, Diego Cavalieri, Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson, Emiliano Insua, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Jamie Carragher, Alberto Aquilani, Steven Gerrard, Yossi Benayoun, Javier Mascherano, Lucas Leiva, Dirk Kuyt, David Ngog, Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel.

Fernando Torres is back on fire after a season plagued by injuries.  If he and Steven Gerrard turn up for this game the reds will have a fighting chance.

Possible starting XI – Reina, Insua, Agger, Johnson, Carragher, Babel, Mascherano, Leiva, Gerrard, Kuyt, Torres

Benfica: Last Europa League game: Julio Cesar, Luis Da Silva, Pereira, David Luiz, Carlos Martins, Javi Garcia, Di Maria, da Silva, Ramiers, Saviola, Cardozo


Benfica are one of the most in-form sides in Europe at the moment and would give anybody a game on current form. Their team is filled with attacking players and at home they are dominant.  Liverpool’s key task is to get at least one away goal.  As was proven against Lille, failing to get an away goal meant we needed to score 3 at Anfield to feel any comfort.

Benfica 2-1 Liverpool


Benfica start as favourites at 6/4. The reds are at 2/1 to win the match, the same odds as the draw.  At present, the reds are narrow favourites to actually qualify over the two legs in to the semi-finals.

TV and Online

The match will be broadcast on Five in the UK. Further information is available in the forum

You can follow the game with us on Twitter and discuss the game live with other fans on LFC Reds

4 comments on
Match Preview – Benfica (A)

  1. any liverpool fan writing for us and on behalf of the club predicting to lose is a disgrace, total disgrace.

    never write again you mug you, support your team or do one!

  2. go over there and play hard, ugly and just get a result, some how, thats all we need, and then bring em back home.

    johnson carragher greek agger
    kuyt lucus mascherano babel
    gerrard torres

  3. Yep till be tough but boys did you see EL NINO’S first on sunday !!!!!!

    If that doznt give you hope then nothing will………. Shear………….. WORLD BEATING CLASS from our number 9 and he’s coming into his prime just when we need him !


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