Europa League Preview: Benfica vs Liverpool FC
31/03/2010 § Leave a comment
Rumors have come that the Estadio Da Luz has over the past few seasons has proven to be a really tough nut to crack. One team from Liverpool went there and succumbed so bad, that the topic is best left alone.
Benfica have a formidable team, more particularly a strike-force to reckon with, spearheaded by one Angel Di Maria who is rated by the biggest clubs all over the world at a good 30m quid. Not bad for a 22 year old, eh?
And if Angel Di Maria’s youth and exuberance isn’t a handful there is the hefty experience of Argentine attackers Pablo Aimar and Javier Saviola. So basically, Benfica aren’t a team to be sneezed at.
And neither are Liverpool FC, ladies and gentlemen who orchestrated a delightful victory over Sunderland dotted with beautiful attacking play all through the game. Liverpool seem to finally be getting their attacking form back, aided by the stark absence of midfield stifle-boy Lucas Leiva and the spike in the form of one Maxi Rodriguez.
Pity he’s cup-tied for this one.
And pity Alberto Aquilani in injured again.
Which means that Lucas will most certainly be back into the heart of the midfield alongside Javier Mascherano in Rafael Benitez’ utterly boring 4-2-3-1 formation, which is increasingly becoming hard on the eye of the average football viewer.
But perhaps a need exists to exercise caution, particularly for the away leg against a team which can be so threatening going forward.
But with Gerrard apparently back in form and Torres running around like a spring chicken, in the spring no less, Benfica have much to fear from Liverpool, unlike whatever Javier Saviola might suggest.
It will be an interesting match should Benitez go with the ‘offense is the best form of defence’ school of thought.
Probable Team: Reina; Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Insua; Lucas, Mascherano; Babel, Gerrard, Kuyt; Torres.