Benfica go into their second Champions League match with an unbeaten record behind them this season. In the league, the side managed by Jorge Jesús has won three and drawn two, meaning they are currently top of the table with the same eleven points as Porto. In Europe, things started with a 0-0 draw away to Celtic.
A win tonight would do wonders for their chances of making it through to the last sixteen, but they will have their work cut out against the team riding high in La Liga. The two previous meetings between the two clubs in the Portuguese capital ended without score, the first in the 1991 European Cup, and the second, their only meeting in the new-format Champions League, in the quarter finals of 2006.
Barça keeper Valdés and Artur of Benfica have both let in exactly five goals so far this term, and the clubs’ respective goalscoring records are similar too. The side from Lisbon has found the target 14 times in the domestic championship, while Barça have scored 17, the highest total in the Spanish Liga.
Benfica have six players that have played in Spain in the past. Nolito has the closest ties with Barça, for whom he had even appeared for the first team before moving to Lisbon last summer. Other familiar faces are Aimar (Zaragoza and Valencia), Martins, (Granada), Salvio (Atlético Madrid), Garay (Racing Santabnder and Real Madrid) and Rodrigo (a former Real Madrid youth player).