The UEFA Champions League is back in action with another set of matches this week as Barcelona take on Benfica on Wednesday. Barcelona have improved over the past week and will be intent on a victory this week.
Benfica have worked hard to reach the UEFA Champions League this season and will need to prove their mettle in a difficult group. The Portuguese outfit played out a 0-0 stalemate against Dynamo Kyiv earlier this month and will need to step up in this match.
Barcelona, on the other hand, suffered a comprehensive 3-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in their previous European game and cannot afford a similar performance this week. The Catalan giants were excellent against Levante over the weekend and will need to be at their best in this fixture.
Benfica vs Barcelona Head-to-Head
Barcelona have an impressive record against Benfica and have won two out of four matches played between the two teams. Benfica have never defeated Barcelona in an official fixture and will need to prove a point this week.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place in 2012 and ended in a 0-0 stalemate. Benfica gave a good account of themselves on the day and will need a similar result on Wednesday.
Benfica form guide: W-W-D-W-W
Barcelona form guide: W-D-D-L-W
Benfica vs Barcelona Team News
Frenkie de Jong did not play against Levante over the weekend and should feature in this match. Ansu Fati scored a goal on his return to the Camp Nou and is in line to make another substitute appearance this week.
Ousmane Dembele, Pedri, Sergio Aguero, Martin Braithwaite, Sergio Aguero, and Jordi Alba are injured have been ruled out of this fixture. Alejandro Balde and Sergi Roberto are also carrying knocks and might not feature in this game.
Injured: Ousmane Dembele, Pedri, Sergio Aguero, Martin Braithwaite, Jordi Alba
Doubtful: Sergi Roberto, Alejandro Balde
Haris Seferovic and Mile Svilar are injured at the moment and will be unable to feature in this match. Diogo Goncalves is also yet to recover from his knock and is unlikely to play against Barcelona.
Injured: Haris Seferovic, Mile Svilar
Doubtful: Diogo Goncalves
Benfica vs Barcelona Predicted XI
Benfica Predicted XI (3-4-3): Odysseas Vlachodimos; Jan Vertonghen, Lucas Verissimo, Nicolas Otamendi; Gilberto, Alejandro Grimaldi, Joao Mario, Julian Weigl; Rafa, Darwin Nunez, Roman Yaremchuk
Barcelona Predicted XI (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, Sergino Dest, Oscar Mingueza; Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Gavi; Memphis Depay, Philippe Coutinho, Luuk de Jong
Benfica vs Barcelona Prediction
Barcelona have struggled under Ronald Koeman this season but have managed to unearth some exceptional La Masia talent in recent months. The Blaugrana hit their stride against Levante over the weekend and will want to make their mark in Europe this week.
Benfica can pack a punch on their day and will need to pull off a few upsets to make it to the knock-outs this year. Barcelona are the better team on paper, however, and should be able to win this game.
Prediction: Benfica 1-3 Barcelona
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