Sunday, September 5
Collect News Data
Aug 10, 2021 at 8pm UK
Spartak MoscowSpartak Moscow
Mario (58'), Yaremchuk (90+2')
Otamendi (16'), Weigl (71')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Lomovitski (25'), Larsson (68')

Preview: Benfica vs. Spartak Moscow - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Boasting a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Russia, Benfica welcome Spartak Moscow to the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Tuesday seeking a straightforward route into the next stage of the Champions League.

Second-half strikes from Rafa Silva and Gilberto saw Jorge Jesus's men claim a healthy advantage from last Wednesday's battle, with the winner of this contest due to face PSV Eindhoven or Midtjylland in the playoff round.

Match preview

It took a bit of time for Benfica to get going in front of the 2,900-strong crowd at the Otkritie Arena last Wednesday, but whatever Jorge Jesus said at half time seemed to work to great effect, as the Primeira Liga outfit struck twice to register a comfortable 2-0 success in the first leg.

Despite losing target man Haris Seferovic to an early injury on the night, Rafa Silva took it upon himself to break the deadlock in the 50th minute before substitute right-back Gilberto made sure of the win 16 minutes from time as Benfica took a giant stride towards the final hurdle.

Coming off the back of an unbeaten pre-season period was certainly a recipe for success for Benfica, who also kicked off their league campaign in winning fashion on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Moreirense, despite seeing out most of the second half with 10 men following Diogo Goncalves's red card.

The hosts' pair of away goals from the first leg may not hold the same significance as they would have done at this stage last season, but barring a calamitous collapse on their own turf - where they have lost just one of their last 19 competitive matches - a spot in the playoff round surely awaits the Champions League group-stage regulars.

Rui Vitoria may be welcomed back to Benfica with open arms this week after winning 125 of his 184 games in charge of the club, but there will be no room for sentimentality as the Spartak Moscow boss desperately seeks to overturn a two-goal deficit at his old home.

Staring down the barrel of elimination in Europe, Spartak's early fortunes on the domestic front have hardly improved either, as Saturday's league battle with Nizhny Novgorod saw Vitoria's men suffer a 2-1 defeat courtesy of two first-half strikes from defenders Aleksey Koslov and Kirill Gotsuk.

Ezequiel Ponce - back from a stint with Argentina at the Olympics - came off the bench to make things interesting with five minutes to go, but the damage had been done by that point as Spartak suffered their second defeat from three league games, and they must desperately find inspiration from somewhere ahead of Tuesday's make-or-break tie.

Not since the 2017-18 season have Spartak progressed as far as the group stage in Europe's premier competition, and worryingly, they have failed to win any of their last eight Champions League games away from home - a run stretching all the way back to a 2-1 success over Zilina in 2010.

Benfica Champions League form:
  • W

Benfica form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W

Spartak Moscow Champions League form:
  • L

Spartak Moscow form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Benfica striker Seferovic is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks with the calf injury he suffered in the first leg, and he takes his place in the treatment room alongside fellow striker Darwin Nunez as he recovers from knee surgery.

Goncalves's red card at the weekend means nothing for this battle, but Gilberto has fared far better than him on that side in the past week and could be one of several changes on the hosts' end.

The likes of Rafa Silva, Pizzi, Alejandro Grimaldo and Julian Weigl should all return after being benched for the win over Moreirense, while there could also be a debut for Roman Yaremchuk up top.

Spartak have also suffered a recent high-profile injury blow, with former Chelsea man Victor Moses going off after 36 minutes at the weekend, and his participation here is in serious doubt.

Goalkeeper Aleksandr Selikhov (finger) and defender Pavel Maslov (hip) are also missing for the visitors, who could now elect to hand Ponce a start up front over Aleksandr Sobolev.

Zelimkhan Bakaev ought to come in to replace Moses in the final third, while midfielder Roman Zobnin could find himself deployed in midfield alongside Alex Kral.

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

Spartak Moscow possible starting lineup:
Maksimenko; Raaskazov, Dzhikiya, Gigot, Lucas; Kral, Zobnin; Bakaev, Larsson, Mirzov; Ponce

We say: Benfica 2-1 Spartak Moscow (Benfica win 4-1 on aggregate)

Expect Spartak Moscow to demonstrate more of an attacking edge in the second leg as Vitoria seeks revenge over his former club, who have already demonstrated their European pedigree.

Yaremchuk is under pressure to emulate Seferovic up top for the hosts, but boosted by a stellar record at home, we can only back Benfica to comfortably progress.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

body check tags ::

amp_article__458560 : Collect and Make Data not in DataBase  : 
last updated article - 2021-08-08 10:35:09:
html db last update - 2021-08-07 19:34:09 :

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)
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

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

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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.