UEFA Champions League – Benfica vs Liverpool: Match Preview

UEFA Champions League – Benfica vs Liverpool: Match Preview

Source: slbenfica.pt reuters.com toppng.com football365.com

Liverpool are up against Benfica at the Estádio da Luz on Tuesday in the first leg of the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League.

Some fans feel Liverpool have been handed the most favourable Champions League draw after Liverpool dumped Inter Milan 2-1 in the previous round.

Meanwhile, Benfica battled hard to defeat Eredivisie Ajax 3-2 over two legs.

And the stage is set for both sides to battle it out for the semi-final spot.

Benfica vs Liverpool: Match Preview

Benfica vs Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match press conference

Liverpool is to make a trip to Portugal to face Benfica on Tuesday night. Besides, it is anticipated as an easy fixture for the Reds in the competition.

Klopp’s men restarted the campaign after the International break with a comfortable victory over Watford in Premier League.

The Anfield club are into a pivotal month of April where it’s make-or-break for Liverpool. Apart from the crucial ties against Benfica in Quarterfinals, Liverpool are to face title rivals Man City twice.

Moreover, the game against wounded arch-rivals Man United and the Merseyside Derby is to take place in this important month.

But free-flowing Reds are surely up for the challenge as they take a crucial step to face Benfica.

Previously a narrow defeat to Inter Milan in the second leg of the Round of 16 is the only game that Liverpool have lost in their last 17 across all competitions. Interestingly, Klopp’s side went through all of February and March without conceding a goal away from home.

Meanwhile, for Benfica, forward Darwin Nunez was the star performer in the previous round. The Uruguayan led his side to the last eight of the competition.

The Eagles were in good form as they saw nine-game without a defeat, but their unbeaten run ended last weekend with a 3-2 defeat to Braga.

Definitely not an encouraging way to start preparation against Liverpool, but coach Nelson Verissimo would want his men to lift their performance and would be expecting their home crowd to play a crucial part when Liverpool steps in at Estadio da Luz.

Team News

Trent Alexander Arnold could be on his way to mark his return to the starting eleven against Benfica. The right-back was on the bench last weekend, which is definitely an encouraging sign.

Besides, defender Joel Matip and midfielder Curtis Jones should be fit for the tie after picking up minor knocks on Saturday against Watford.

Meanwhile, Naby Keita remains a major doubt for the tie with his ongoing knee issue.

In the front three for the Reds, Luis Diaz should come back after missing out on action against Watford. Mo Salah who had a tough week last weekend could settle for the bench.

Klopp also has one eye on the upcoming fixture against Man City and should make changes accordingly.

Liverpool’s possible starting lineup:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Jota, Mane, Diaz

Benfica vs Liverpool: Anfield Home Prediction

Klopp accepted the fact that Liverpool did not create enough against Watford as the players begin to gel following the international break. And the encounter between both sides in Portugal could be a close one.

Meanwhile, Benfica’s impressive show against Ajax received applause from everyone but facing Liverpool in the Quarterfinal stage is a different ball game.

Even though a close encounter is anticipated, Liverpool’s firepower should take advantage of Benfica’s recent defensive lapses to claim a first-leg advantage.

Liverpool looks very likely to prevail over Benfica with a 2-0 win.

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