Jose Mourinho could be just a short time away from a return to Stamford Bridge but tonight, Chelsea will be hoping to follow in his footsteps by winning the Champions League and Europa League in consecutive seasons.
The Blues failed in their defence of Europe’s most prestigious tournament but will now battle it out for the next best thing as they take to the Amsterdam Arena pitch with Benfica in the Europa League final.
The two clubs, both giants in their respective countries, met for the first time in last season’s Champion’s League quarter-final and while this will give each of them a good knowledge of the opposition, it could instil fear into the Portuguese outfit as Chelsea were victorious in both legs.
Rafa Benitez’s men have won five of their last six matches across all competitions - two of which resulted in a comfortable aggregate victory over FC Basel in the Europa League semi-final.
On the contrary, Benfica will head into the game on the back of a crushing defeat to Porto that could cost them the league title and, if they struggle to pick themselves up in time, the chance of European glory too.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7:45pm
Chelsea 2 (Lampard, Meireles) Benfica 1 (Garcia), Champions League, April 2012
Benfica 0, Chelsea 1 (Kalou),Champions League, March 2012
- Juan Mata is preparing to make his 63 club appearance of the season.
- This will be Benfica’s ninth major European final. They won their first two in 60/61 and 61/62 but have lost each of their last six.
- Chelsea have suffered just one defeat in their eight previous matches against Portuguese opposition, winning six.
- Benfica have registered just one victory in their last seven clashes with English sides.
- Cardozo has scored in six of his team’s last ten matches against English teams.
- Chelsea are vying to become only the fourth team to lift all three of Uefa’s major club trophies after Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich.
Benfica to win: 3.15
Chelsea to win: 2.48
TV: Live on ITV at 7:45pm.