UEFA Champions League: Liverpool Vs Benfica – Match preview

UEFA Champions League: Liverpool Vs Benfica – Match preview

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12 Apr 2022
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Liverpool vs Benfica

The Reds boss Jürgen Klopp was actually disappointed with the 3-1 away leg victory, declaring his side “should have scored more goals” to ensure this second leg would be nothing more than a procession.

Liverpool

Ahead of a potential meeting at the negotiation table with Benfica over star striker Darwin Nunez, Liverpool first have to confirm their place in a UEFA Champions League semi-final for the first time since winning the 2018/19 edition by converting their 3-1 first leg away victory into an aggregate triumph at home. Having not lost at home to Portuguese opposition since 2005/06, they have every right to be confident of doing so. The Reds boss Jürgen Klopp was actually disappointed with the 3-1 away leg victory, declaring his side “should have scored more goals” to ensure this second leg would be nothing more than a procession. Instead, Klopp now has to delicately balance the importance of not losing here, with an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City and an intensifying title race after their 2-2 draw at City in the league at the weekend.

Benfica

Benfica manager Nelson Verissimo had the advantage of being able to rest six members of his starting XI in a 3-1 defeat of Primeira Liga relegation contenders Belenenses whilst sharpening his attacking weapons ahead of this game in which they will require at least three goals to win the tie in regulation or extra time, now that the away goals rule has been scrapped. That’s a tall order at one of the notoriously toughest stadiums to win at in Europe, and history offers little hope too, as Benfica have won just one quarter-final away leg in any UEFA competition this century, with the heaviest defeat coming in a 2009/10 Europa League trip to Anfield!

 

Diogo Jota’s stellar form continued at the weekend against Manchester City, with the Liverpool star scoring in five of his last six appearances of at least 45 minutes for club or country. Benfica’s Nunez has reportedly been linked with a potential summer move to Anfield after scoring in each of his last three competitive appearances, including their only goal against Liverpool. Nine of Benfica’s last 12 away games in all competitions produced more than 2.5 goals.

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