Benfica vs Barcelona predictions and match preview for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as the Catalans head to Lisbon.
|Wednesday 29th September 2021
|20:00 (local time)
|Estadio da Luz
|UEFA Champions League Group Stage
Benfica vs Barcelona Preview
Barcelona travel to Lisbon this week, hungry for their first points of this UEFA Champions League campaign. Should they fail to get them, the possibility of Barca not even making it out of the group would become very real indeed and as such this is a high pressure game for Ronald Koeman and his side.
The Catalans were outclassed by a strong Bayern Munich side in their opening group fixture. That was sadly quite predictable in the circumstances and there wasn’t a great deal more positivity to come from their subsequent league games either. Draws against Granada and Cadiz followed as the knives continued to sharpen with Koeman’s stock falling to a fresh low.
However there was a ray of light at the weekend as Barcelona put in one of their best performances for some time to see off Levante 3-0 at Camp Nou. It was a game that offered a reminder that the club do have some talented young players who are likely to be an integral part of their plans moving forward. Gavi and Nico Gonzalez both started and impressed while Sergiño Dest was arguably man of the match. There was also a goalscoring return for Ansu Fati off the bench which was great to see after his injury problems.
This though will be a very different kind of test for some of those Barcelona youngsters. There is pressure on here and it won’t be easy against a strong Benfica side that has started the season with 7 straight wins in the Portuguese top flight. They made a reasonable start to their Champions League campaign with a 0-0 draw away to Dynamo Kiev and will see this fixture as absolutely crucial to their chances of progression.
They may not be among the favourites to go deep in this competition, but Benfica have a nice blend of experienced players and talented youngsters. Among the latter is Darwin Núñez who starred for Almeria in Spain’s Segunda Division before moving to the Portuguese capital in the summer of 2020. He has started the new season well and is one dangerman here for Benfica who will also look to Ukrainian forward Roman Yaremchuk for attacking inspiration.
Head to Head
- The sides haven’t met since two group stage clashes in 2012.
- Barcelona won 2-0 in Lisbon before a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou.
- Barcelona were also 2-0 winners on aggregate in a knockout stage clash in 2006.
Haris Seferovic and Mile Svilar are both out injured for the hosts.
Pedri, Jordi Alba and Sergio Aguero are among Barcelona’s most significant absentees. Sergi Roberto is a doubt.
Predicted Benfica Starting Lineup:
Vlachodimos – Vertonghen, Otamendi, Verissimo – Grimaldo, Mario, Weigl, Gilberto – Nunez, Yaremchuk, Rafa (3-4-3)
Predicted Barcelona Starting Lineup:
Ter Stegen – Mingueza, Araujo, Pique, Dest – Busquets, De Jong – Depay, Coutinho, Gavi – De Jong (4-2-3-1)
Benfica vs Barcelona Predictions
Score Prediction: Benfica 1-1 Barcelona
There is a very good chance it’ll end up being between these two sides for 2nd in this group so the stakes are high here and we may see an element of caution from both teams early on. Barcelona’s injury problems have eased slightly but it’s doubtful Ansu Fati will be ready to start and their likely XI may not be good enough to take more than a point from this fixture.