Tottenham v Benfica: Europa League match preview
A look ahead to this week’s Europa League fixture at White Hart Lane
Thursday 13 March 2014
Benfica travel to White Hart Lane on Thursday to face Tottenham for the first time since 1967.
Tottenham will be looking to move on from their humiliating 4-0 defeat to London rivals Chelsea last Saturday and so their Round of 16 first-leg match against Benfica won’t come soon enough.
Benfica, who sit top of the Portuguese Primieira League and lost to Chelsea in last year’s Europa League Final, have enjoyed fantastic form recently, winning 18 of their last 20 fixtures and are deemed to be one of the favourites to lift the Europa League trophy.
Tottenham have been inconsistent over the last several weeks, winning four and losing three of their last seven matches. Fortunately for Tim Sherwood’s squad, the Europa League remains a realistic opportunity for silverware this season, something for which they should be confident in winning.
Tottenham have been a governing team in the Europa League this season, winning all of their group matches and overcoming FC Dnipro in last week’s Round of 32. Despite impressive European form, Tottenham will face a daunting challenge in Benfica who have been unfailingly dominant in both Europe and at home since January.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 8.05pm
Spurs are unbeaten in 11 European home games (inc. qualifiers, W9 D2), with their last home defeat at White Hart Lane coming against PAOK Salonika in November 2011.
Benfica have won their last four games in European competition, including victories in both legs of their last 32 tie against PAOK Salonika.
Spurs have failed to score in just one of their last 18 games in the Europa League (inc. qualifiers).
After entering the round of 32 from the Champions League group stage, Benfica are aiming to reach the final for the second successive season.
Tottenham to win: 2.25
Benfica to win: 3.1
TV: Live on ITV 1 at 8.05pm, highlights on ITV 1 at 6.00pm on Friday.
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