Spirited Benfica faces unstoppable Liverpool in Lisbon. The Eagles stunned Ajax at Amsterdam to book a berth in the quarterfinals while the Reds overcame a tricky Inter side in the last 16 stages.
SLB vs LIV Champions League 2021-22 leg 1 Match Details :
Date: 5 April 2022/ 6 April 2022
Time: 19:00 (GMT)/ 00:30 (IST)
Venue: Estadio da Luz, Benfica
SLB vs LIV Champions League 2021-22 leg 1 Match Preview :
Darwin Nunez headed past Andre Onana in the 77th minute from a set-piece to reward Benfica's defensive display by knocking out Ajax 3-2 on aggregate. It was Nunez's fourth strike in the champions league in addition to his 23 goals in Liga Portugal.
Many tipped Erik Ten Haag's side to advance from the tie and go further showing their artistic football. The Portuguese side had other plans though making it as stuffy as possible to grind out a memorable win and the first over the Dutch giants in the competition. Benfica are no new to heroics having beaten Barcelona at this venue last year. The clash against Liverpool is a gigantic one and Nelson Verissimo's men are once again relying on their defense led by veterans, Nicolas Otamendi and Jan Vertonghen to use the magic wand again. Both know their opposition closely. However, Liverpool are not only difficult but a scary pill to swallow.
Jurgen Klopp's men kept up the pressure on Man City before they face them next week with a 2-0 win over Watford, maintaining the one-point gap with the leaders. The three points extended their winning run to eleven games in the league and five more in all competitions. The Reds only fumbled in the second leg of the round of 16 games at Anfield when Lautaro Martinez scored a terrific goal for a 1-0 win. Liverpool qualified having won 2-0 at San Siro beforehand. The defeat can be easily discounted as a bad day in the office for they look so dominant throughout the year. Chasing a quadruple, Liverpool have also bolstered their squad depth adding Luis Diaz to their formidable frontline. That forces Klopp to make difficult decisions. Benfica will make matters as harder as possible. The Reds will wish to kill off the tie in the first leg itself to carry a comfortable margin at Anfield to tackle the challenging weeks ahead.
Recent Form (all competitions)
SL Benfica: LWWDW
SLB vs LIV Champions League 2021-22 leg 1 Team News :
Benfica are without left-back Lucas Verissimo after he suffered a cruciate ligament injury with Rodrygo Pinho also facing a period on the sideline due to a muscular injury. Although, Haris Seferovic made his return from his injury at the weekend. Adel Taarabat is a doubt with an adductor issue.
Jurgen Klopp said he has a full squad available for the game. Curtis Jones has shaken off a minor injury he picked up against Watford so is Naby Keita after his knee problem. Trent Alexander-Arnold made the bench on Saturday and will return to the starting eleven for this one. The right-back was out for two weeks with a hamstring problem. Mohamed Salah has eight goals in eight games in the Champions League but Klopp won't risk him from the start with the City game in mind.
SLB vs LIV Champions League 2021-22 leg 1 Expected Lineups :
SL Benfica: Odisseas Vlachodimos; Gilberto Junior, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen, Alex Grimaldo, Rafa Silva, Joao Mario, Julian Weigl, Everton Riberio, Roman Yaremchuk, Darwin Nunez
Liverpool: Alisson Becker; Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara; Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz
SLB vs LIV Head to Head
Liverpool last faced Benfica in the competition in 2006, losing both the legs of the round of 16 ties. Luisao scored the only goal at home before Simao and Miccoli found the net at Anfield to advance 3-0 on aggregate. Benfica also emerged 2-1 winners in the latest meeting in 2010 but Europa League this time. However, Liverpool thumped the Portuguese giants 4-1 at home in the return leg to reach the semifinals.
SLB vs LIV Champions League 2021-22 leg 1 Dream11 Team Prediction :
GK: Alisson (8.5)
DEF: Trent (9.5), Otamendi (9.5), Van Dijk (9), Robertson (9)
MID: Rafa Silva (9), Henderson (9), Weigl (8.5), Mane (9)
FW: Jota (9), Nunez (9)