UCL – Benfica vs Liverpool
Quarter-Finals 1st leg
Liverpool have conceded just a couple of goals in their last ten league matches and none in their previous ten. In other words, they have not conceded in nearly eight hours of Premier League football. Therefore, I have backed them to keep a clean sheet on Tuesday.
The Reds managed to destroy Primera Liga leaders Porto by a scoreline of 1-5 in Portugal. Therefore, LFC should manage a comfortable win against a club that has dropped points twice in their last three league matches.
Clean sheet: Liverpool @ 2.13 odds.
Asian handicap: -1 Liverpool @ 1.71 odds.
Benfica: Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Weigl, Taarabt, João Mário; Darwin Núñez, Ramos, Rafa Silva
Misses next match if booked (Players on 2 yellow cards): Grimaldo, João Mário, Otamendi, Gonçalo Ramos, Rafa Silva, Weigl, Yaremchuk
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago Alcântara; Salah, Mané, Díaz
Misses next match if booked (Players on 2 yellow cards): Jota, Mané
Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool coach: “Benfica maybe aren’t where they want to be in their league but it’s a tough opponent. We all know one failure, one little misstep, and at least one competition can be gone. That’s no problem for us, we’re just ready for the next challenge.”
Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool defender: “Benfica are in the last eight. We can say one of the ‘easiest’ draws, but they are there for a reason. It’s going to be difficult. We have to show them the respect they deserve. You can make whatever you want out of this, but it’s going to be tough.”
Nélson Veríssimo, Benfica coach: “We have to recognise that Liverpool is a team with great collective and individual competence, with a great coach, and that will force us to be at a very high level in both games. It’s going to be a tricky tie but, as I said with Ajax, it’s going to be 50/50.”
Adel Taarabt, Benfica midfielder: “We have a chance as we’re in the quarter-finals. Liverpool are a team we respect but we don’t fear them. We know the quality they have but we have quality as well. We have players in attack that can make a big difference.”