Benfica v Chelsea, Tues 19:45
In the first of this season’s Champions League quarter-finals, Chelsea will be flying the English flag when they travel to Portugal to take on Benfica as Bet365 offer Di Matteo’s side at along odds to take a lead back to Stamford Bridge.
The first-leg encounter will be a difficult task for the Blues however, who are hoping to leap back into good form after suffering consecutive setbacks in their Premier League campaign.
After losing 2-1 at Manchester City, Roberto Di Matteo’s side then ran out a 0-0 stalemate against Tottenham Hotspur over the weekend, missing out on the chance to close the gap between them and fourth spot.
Benfica, on the other hand, are enjoying a different run of form and are currently on a four-match unbeaten streak.
After losing against league leaders and current Primeira Liga title holders, Porto, Los Aguías went on to win their next three matches, one of which was a 2-0 victory over Zenit St. Petersburg that saw them progress to this stage of European competition.
The Russian outfit weren’t the only strong opposition that Benfica have overcome this season however, after Jorge Jesus’ side famously ousted Manchester United from the competition with two admirable displays in the group stage.
Jesus appears to have galvanized his team and the victory over Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils doesn’t seem to have been a one-off and Chelsea will undoubtedly be in for a stern fight.
Benfica currently hold the best attack in the Portuguese top flight, averaging 3.08 goals per game when playing at home this campaign, however their defence is slightly more slack.
That being said, the Blues showed that they were no slouches going forward in their last European fixture against Napoli when they managed a 4-1 victory over the Naples outfit.
Currently lying in fifth, Champions League qualification is far from assured for Chelsea and winning this year’s tournament may prove to be their only route into next season’s competition, giving extra incentive to the West London club.