I’ve studied this Benfica side. It’s a good one. [We know that they got to the competition’s final last season and lost out to Chelsea.] So are we but sometimes this season I have seen us struggling a little reminiscent like we did post Deschamps Serie B triumph / pre Conte… those two seasons where we finished 7th really. It’s the cup competitions where this seems to be exposed.
I’ve also noted that Benfica have no other fixtures in between both legs whereas we travel away to Sassuolo on the Monday and then back to Vinovo to prepare for Benfica’s visit to our Castle.
Their defensive record is pretty bloody good. They conceded 8 goals throughout their Champions League campaign and were a little unlucky to have been put into the Europa competition from a group that contained PSG, Olympiakos and Anderlecht winning 3, drawing 1 and losing 2. Their time in the Europa since February has seem them play the six games and concede only 3 times in both of their games with Tottenham.
Portugal’s Primeira Liga sees them about to clinch the title needing just another win to ensure it. Only 3 games remain in their league also. They’ve conceded only 15 times.
As for their attacking threat we need to keep tabs on Ezequiel Garay. He’s scored 6 from defence. Gaitán and Perez can be dangerous in midfield. Also need to watch out for Lima, Rodrigo, Cardozo and Marković in the forwards.