Benfica v CHELSEA: Europa League Final Preview

Venue: Amsterdam Arena

Date: Wednesday, 15 May

Kick-off: 19:45 GMT

 

Here we are then, not quite last year’s European final but a European final nonetheless and we won’t turn our noses up at the prospect of adding a bit more silverware to our ever-growing cabinet.  We’ve done the important business in securing a Champions League spot, thanks to Frank Lampard at the weekend, so starting XI permitting, it’d be good to see us playing some more attacking football with a bit of the pressure off.

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game and off the back of much fuss in the press, Benfica manager Jorge Jesus says “No Benfica player has undermined the quality of any Chelsea player or the Chelsea team. In my opinion the strongest team make the Europa League final. Chelsea is an excellent team and they will finish third in the Premier League this year. They have quality.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Benfica, there are no new injury worries, and defender Andre Almeida is expected to be fit.

For Chelsea, it’s not great news, with both JT (ankle) and Hazard (hamstring) injured in the win over Villa at the weekend. Mikel (hip) hasn’t played for four games and Bertrand (knee) is another one unlikely to feature. Romeu has travelled although hasn’t played since December and Ba is cup-tied. On the plus side, Lampard should get a game.

 

TEAMS

BENFICA (possible line-up): Moraes, Almeida, Garay, Luisao, Pereira, Matic, Perez; Salvio, Lima, Gaitan; Cardozo.

CHELSEA (possible line-up): Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Moses, Mata, Oscar, Torres

 

LAST MEETING

Chelsea 2-1 Benfica (April 4th, 2012) 3-1 agg

 

PREDICTION

At the end of this game we could be in the unique position of being the holders of both the Champions League and Europa League cups or we could finish the season without a trophy.  We’re probably just about edging it as favourites, although that’s not necessarily a position that does us any favours as a rule and Benfica won’t be spectators in this game. Tough one to call – and I’m far too superstitious anyway!

 

2 Responses to “Benfica v CHELSEA: Europa League Final Preview”

  1. Benitez the Mastermind? or the players the success?

    http://robmilne.blog.com/2013/05/16/benitez-leads-chelsea-to-euro-triumph/

  2. rafa can leave with his head held high, he’s done a fantastic job