S
SEARCH
M
SW
Collect News Data
Sep 29, 2021 at 8pm UK
BenficaBenfica
3-0
BarcelonaBarcelona
Nunez (3', 79' pen.), Silva (69')
Otamendi (33'), Silva (56'), Grimaldo (62'), Weigl (72')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Pique (12'), Garcia (54'), Dest (78'), Gonzalez (86')
Garcia (87')

Preview: Benfica vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Benfica vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Benfica and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Benfica and Barcelona will both go in search of their first Champions League group stage wins of the season when they lock horns at the Estadio da Luz in Group E on Wednesday night.

Jorge Jesus's side played out a goalless draw with Dynamo Kiev on the opening day, whereas Barca succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich.


Match preview

In a game where no fewer than 20 shots were fired - 12 of which came from Benfica's attacking contingent - neither the Portuguese side nor Dynamo Kiev could break down the other's defence during a goalless stalemate on matchday one.

Jesus's men had to do it the hard way to book their spot in the group stages after a one-year absence - overcoming Spartak Moscow and PSV in the qualifying rounds - but they have not let their domestic fortunes take a hit as their perfect start to the league season continued at the weekend.

Summer signing Roman Yaremchuk bagged a brace before Joao Mario added gloss to the scoreline in a 3-1 success over Vitoria Guimaraes on Saturday - their seventh win from as many games in the 2021-22 Primeira Liga - and they have chalked up at least two goals in every game that they have scored in this term.

However, the two games in which they have failed to score this season have been their last two Champions League battles - both of which came away from home, though - and the Portuguese giants welcome Barcelona to a ground where they have won five out of five this term.

Jesus's men have also come up trumps in five of their last six Champions League games at the Estadio da Luz including qualifiers, and given Barcelona's wholly underwhelming start to the campaign, one would not put it past the hosts to keep that stellar run going.

With the pressure on his shoulders growing heavier by the week, under-fire Catalan coach Ronald Koeman saw his side blown away by Bayern on the opening matchday in the Champions League, as the Camp Nou crowd witnessed their side lose 3-0 to the German giants.

Thomas Muller broke the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes before Robert Lewandowski's second-half brace killed any hopes of a Blaugrana comeback, but the Catalan club at least head into Wednesday's game on the back of a morale-boosting league win.

Still unbeaten in the 2021-22 La Liga season, a youthful Barcelona side - one bedevilled by injuries, illnesses and suspensions - saw off Levante 3-0 on Sunday, as Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong struck before Ansu Fati marked his comeback game with a goal 10 minutes after being introduced.

Barca ended a three-game winless run in all competitions with Sunday's triumph, but doubts persist over the long-term future of Koeman in the hotseat, in spite of reports claiming that the club cannot afford to sack the Dutchman at present.

Barca travel to the Estadio da Luz unbeaten in their last eight Champions League away games, though, and they have kept clean sheets in each of their last four meetings with Benfica, the most recent of which ended 0-0 at Camp Nou in the 2012-13 group stage.

Benfica Champions League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Benfica form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Barcelona Champions League form:
  • L

Barcelona form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W

Team News

Benfica defender Lucas Verissimo is back from a European ban this week and should displace fellow Brazilian Morato in the hosts' defence alongside Nicolas Otamendi and Jan Vertonghen.

Adel Taarabt is available for Champions League fixtures amid a lengthy domestic suspension, while Yaremchuk is under no pressure for a start up top as Haris Seferovic is expected to remain out until after the international break.

Pizzi and Everton are pushing for recalls to the wide areas, but the duo will have a hard time displacing Rafa Silva and Darwin Nunez for the visit of the Catalans.

Barcelona continue to cope without long-term injury victims Sergio Aguero, Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite, while Jordi Alba is also likely to miss out after coming off against Bayern, but Ansu Fati made his long-awaited comeback against Levante.

Alejandro Balde (back) and Sergi Roberto (gastrointestinal) are also uncertain - although the latter is in the squad - but recent reports have claimed that Pedri may be fit enough to return from a thigh problem in time for Wednesday.

Frenkie de Jong returns from a domestic ban and will displace Gavi or Nico Gonzalez in the visitors' midfield, while Sergino Dest will continue at left-back if Alba and Balde are both ruled out.

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Verissimo, Otamendi, Vertonghen; Pizzi, Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo; Silva, Yaremchuk, Nunez

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Pique, Araujo, Dest; F. de Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Coutinho, L. de Jong, Depay


We say: Benfica 1-1 Barcelona

Despite claiming a vital three points at the weekend, Barcelona are far from full-strength and are not without their morale problems either, making this a more enticing affair than it would initially seem on paper.

One can only imagine what failure to win would do for Koeman's future in the hotseat, but an in-form Benfica will sense an opportunity at the fortress that is the Estadio da Luz and are more than capable of claiming a hard-earned point from this clash.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:curl



body check tags ::

amp_article__465504 : Collect and Make Data not in DataBase  : 
last updated article - 2021-09-28 23:03:51:
html db last update - 2021-09-26 10:30:14 :

ex - 7200 : read : write cache and make html
Read more!

This page is available in multiple languages
Share this article now:

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
UC
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Sociedad10631149521
2Real Madrid962124111320
3Sevilla96211661020
4Atletico MadridAtletico9531138518
5Real Betis105321511418
6Osasuna105321413118
7Rayo Vallecano105141712516
8Athletic Bilbao944195416
9Barcelona94321510515
10Valencia103431513213
11Espanyol103431010013
12Mallorca10334915-612
13Villarreal9252107311
14Celta Vigo103161012-210
15ElcheElche10244812-410
16Granada9144713-67
17CadizCadiz10145715-87
18AlavesAlaves9207413-96
19Levante10055918-95
20Getafe10028316-132
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
UC
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

League Two Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Forest Green RoversForest Green1493226121430
2Port Vale147432314925
3Northampton TownNorthampton147341711624
4Exeter CityExeter145812314923
5Harrogate TownHarrogate146532719823
6Swindon TownSwindon146531914523
7Hartlepool UnitedHartlepool147251715223
8Tranmere RoversTranmere14644118322
9Leyton Orient144822012820
10Sutton UnitedSutton136252016420
11Bradford CityBradford145542017320
12Newport CountyNewport145542018220
13Barrow144641918118
14Walsall144551819-117
15Rochdale144551718-117
16Crawley TownCrawley145271621-517
17Salford City144461515016
18Bristol Rovers144371623-715
19Colchester UnitedColchester13355915-614
20Stevenage143561121-1014
21Oldham AthleticOldham143381019-912
22Carlisle UnitedCarlisle142661121-1012
23Mansfield TownMansfield142571220-811
24Scunthorpe UnitedScunthorpe142571027-1711
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
X

We value your privacy

A part of our GDPR compliance we need to ask for your consent. We and our partners use technology such as cookies on Sports Mole to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on Sports Mole.