Liverpool v Benfica: Champions League preview, team news, possible line up, and prediction

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Liverpool and Benfica will meet in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals coming Wednesday at Anfield.

Digging Deeper Into Liverpool's 3-2 Win over Atlético Madrid - The  Liverpool Offside

Following an anticlimactic finish in a high-pressure, high-intensity contest at the weekend, Liverpool are back in action in a crucial match, facing Benfica at Anfield, and seeking to add to their two-goal advantage in order to make the semi-final as boring as possible.

As guias did what they were meant to do at the weekend, beating bottom-placed Belenenses 3-1 at home, but they are still well outside the top two in the Primeira Liga with five games remaining, and direct Champions League participation for next season looks increasingly impossible.

As a result, tomorrow night appears to be the Lisboetas’ final chance of the season, and Jürgen Klopp and his team, as well as the Anfield supporters, will be hoping for a boring affair.

Team News

With a 3-1 advantage going into the second leg against Benfica, Jurgen Klopp will be able to rotate his squad more in preparation for the FA Cup match against Manchester City this weekend.

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Luiz Diaz and Roberto Firmino are likely to start against Benfica, while Thiago could be rested in midfield.

Adel Taarabt may have missed the first leg, but he replied with a pair of assists over the weekend, giving head coach Nelson Verissimo plenty for thought.

John Textor to Seek Portugal Football Alternative if Benfica Talks Fail -  Bloomberg

Darwin Nunez, a target for Manchester United, scored a hat-trick at the weekend to prepare for Wednesday’s trip to Anfield.

Possible Line ups

Liverpool possible starting XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Jones; Salah, Mane, Diaz.

Benfica possible starting XI: Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Vertonghen, Otamendi, Grimaldo; Silva, Weigl, Taarabt, Everton; Ramos, Nunez.

Prediction

After Luis Diaz’s late goal made it 3-1 in Lisbon last week, Liverpool has a commanding lead in this tie. Jurgen Klopp’s team did lost to Inter in the Champions League last round after winning the first leg at Anfield, but they should have too much for Benfica on Wednesday.

Klopp Praises Liverpool's 'Dirty Three Points' Against Atletico Madrid -  The Liverpool Offside

With clean sheets away to Barcelona and Ajax in the Champions League, Benfica has shown they can be difficult to break down, but they have also suffered a crushing 5-2 defeat at Bayern Munich this season. The fact that they have only won once in the competition away from home this season doesn’t auger well for their hopes of making up the gap.

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Who do you think will win today’s game?

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