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Benfica vs Liverpool Preview – Prediction, team news, line-ups

Liverpool head to the Estadio da Luz to take on Portuguese heavyweights Benfica in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie. 

Jurgen Klopp’s men are flying high as Saturday’s comfortable 2-0 home win over Premier League relegation fighters Watford made it four wins from four across all competitions. 

Having already lifted the League Cup title earlier this season, the Reds have laid their eyes on a historic quadruple after returning in contention for the Premier League crown and reaching the FA Cup semi-finals. 

Meanwhile, Benfica are already well off the title pace in the Primeira Liga, so going the distance in Europe’s elite competition could be the only saving grace for the Eagles this season. 

They already staged an upset in the round of 16. A stunning 3-2 aggregate victory over Ajax handed the Primeira Liga side their first quarter-final appearance in six years.

Unfortunately for Nelson Verissimo’s men, they will have to overcome one of the most in-form teams in European football to reach their first-ever Champions League semi-finals. 

Match Preview


Benfica won the European Cup twice, but they have failed to get past the competition’s quarter-finals in all four previous attempts under the Champions League branding. 

The record-time Portuguese champions have, in fact, failed to win any of their eight quarter-final matches under the current format (D3, L5), last bowing out to Bayern Munich in 2015/16.

After Friday’s 3-2 loss away to Braga halted their nine-game unbeaten streak (W6, D3), Benfica will seek redemption against a Liverpool side they have defeated in all three previous European H2Hs at home. 


Liverpool’s 100% win ratio in this season’s Champions League came to an end in the return leg of their last-16 tie against Inter Milan as Simone Inzaghi’s men claimed a futile 1-0 win at Anfield.

However, the Reds have won all four away games in the competition so far, including an overwhelming 5-1 triumph at Benfica’s fellow rivals Porto in the group phase.

Indeed, the Premier League giants have not lost any of their previous eight European meetings with Portuguese opponents (W6, D2), including wins in the last four in a row. 

Team News

Rodrigo Pinho and Lucas Verissimo are long-term absentees for Benfica, while Adel Taarabt remains the only doubt after Haris Seferovic returned to the fold at the weekend. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane should return to Liverpool’s starting line-up after being rested against Watford last weekend, though Nabi Keita is unlikely to make the cut due to a knee injury.

Benfica Potential Starting XI:

(4-4-2): Odysseas Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen, Alex Grimaldo; Rafa Silva, Joao Mario, Julian Weigl, Everton; Darwin Nunez, Roman Yaremchuk.

Liverpool Potential Starting XI:

(4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara; Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah. 

Benfica vs Liverpool Prediction

With all due respect to Benfica’s utterly impressive Champions League season thus far, this should be the end of the road for Verissimo’s side.

Liverpool have been relentless in front of goal this season, and we back them to take advantage of Benfica’s defensive woes and put this tie already beyond doubt in the first leg.

Benfica 0-3 Liverpool

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