Europa League final: Benfica v Chelsea match preview
A look ahead to tonight’s Europa League final at the Amsterdam ArenA
Wednesday 15 May 2013
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.
Latest in Sport
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Compare the Barcelona and Real Madrid players in El Clasico
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Tim Sherwood: The mavericks have always needed special handling – but Balotelli is not delivering his side of the bargain for Liverpool
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Modesty of Louis van Gaal makes nice contrast with his old pupil Jose Mourinho
Real Madrid analysis: Toni Kroos control may give extra edge that enables Real Madrid to retain Champions League crown
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts