Tuesday 14 Feb

Benfica vs Dortmund Match Preview

14 Feb 2017 Stuart S. INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Champions League, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Champions League, Knockout stage

Benfica Lisbon

  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

vs

Kick-off
19:45 GMT
14 February 2017

Borussia Dortmund

  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Kick-off
19:45 GMT 14 February 2017

The Benfica vs Dortmund match will be played on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 at the Estadio da Luz.

This is the first leg of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League Round of Sixteen. The second leg at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund takes place on 8th March 2017.

Benfica is 1st in the Portuguese Primeira League while Dortmund is 4th in the German Bundesliga.

STATS

  • Dortmund are unbeaten in this season’s Champions League (W4, D2)
  • 5 of Dortmund’s 6 Champions League games this season has featured +3.5 goals
  • Benfica are unbeaten in the last 4 home games against German opposition       
  • Only 1 of Benfica’s 3 Champions League games this season has featured +2.5 goals
  • Dortmund has scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 Champions League games

HEAD TO HEAD

The two sides have only met once before in European competition. In the 1962/63 Champions Cup, Dortmund lost the first leg 1-2 in Lisbon but won the return 5-0, progressing to the second round with a 6-2 aggregate win.

Dortmund has never been knocked out of European by a Portuguese team while Bayern Munich (1995) and Schalke (2010) are the only German teams to win in the Estadio da Luz.

BENFICA NEWS

Benfica host Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the Round of Sixteen in this season’s Champions League, looking to improve their appalling record against German teams in the competition. The Portuguese league leaders have never eliminated a Bundesliga team from the competition but three have halted Benfica’s progress or knocked them out.

Injuries are not a particular problem for Rui Vitoria with only Eduardo Salvio in danger of missing out alongside Alejandro Grimaldo and Andre Horta. Andrija Zivkovic is suspended although bookings for Pizzi and Andreas Samaris would mean they miss the second leg in Dortmund.

Domestically, Benfica are once more at the top of the table albeit only a point clear of Porto. The recent defeat in Setubal was a shock to the system and was followed by two 3-0 wins over Madeira and Arouca.

In Europe, their form wasn’t as good. Benfica qualified for the last sixteen with the lowest points total of all the teams and they were far from convincing in a straightforward group. Only Besiktas’ collapse in Kiev on the final day allowed Benfica to reach the knockout phase.

It’s going to take two strong performances to stop Dortmund progressing.

Latest matches: Benfica Lisbon

10.02.2017 Prim Benfica Lisbon FC Arouca 3:0 W
05.02.2017 Prim Benfica Lisbon CD Nacional 3:0 W
30.01.2017 Prim Vitoria Setubal Benfica Lisbon 1:0 L
26.01.2017 Leag Moreirense FC Benfica Lisbon 3:1 L
22.01.2017 Prim Benfica Lisbon CD Tondela 4:0 W

DORTMUND NEWS

Dortmund arrive in Lisbon with injuries to key players threatening to wreck Thomas Tuchel’s plans. Mario Gotze didn’t travel with the squad, keeping Nuri Sahin and Sven Bender company in the treatment room, along with Sebastian Rode. Marcel Schmelzer is doubtful for the match as is Lukasz Piszczek.

The Germans have no suspensions for this match although Ralph Guerreiro will miss the second leg if he picks up a yellow card.

Darmstadt’s 2-1 victory at the weekend was unexpected and worryingly for Tuchel. It was a collectively poor performance with his big stars underperforming. A big improvement will be needed in the Estadio da Luz if Dortmund are to be in with progressing in the second leg.

However, the Dortmund coach did rest several who might expect to start in this clash. He also has worried about goals. Since speculation resurfaced about Patrick-Emerick Aubameyang’s future, the striker has struggled to find the back of the net. Distraction or coincidence?

Despite a record of 21 goals in 22 games, he has picked up more yellow cards in the last 5 matches than goals (2 v 1). Which serves to underline how phenomenal his record was, and just how much Dortmund rely on the Gabonese for goals.

Latest matches: Borussia Dortmund

11.02.2017 Bund SV Darmstadt 98 Borussia Dortmund 2:1 L
08.02.2017 DFB Borussia Dortmund Hertha BSC 4:3 W
04.02.2017 Bund Borussia Dortmund RB Leipzig 1:0 W
29.01.2017 Bund 1 FSV Mainz 05 Borussia Dortmund 1:1 D
21.01.2017 Bund Werder Bremen Borussia Dortmund 1:2 W

SUMMING UP!

Dortmund are favourites for this tie although winning in Lisbon may be beyond them in their current run of form. Benfica were unimpressive against Napoli and drew with Besiktas in the group stage.

That said, they remain dominant domestically at home so will be looking to take the confidence of those games into the first leg. The weight of history may be against them but an early goal and the backing of a partisan crowd could put them into a good position for the return in Dortmund.

About the author - Stuart S.

An English freelance sports writer, Stuart has written the Arsenal blog A Cultured Left Foot since 2006, as well as numerous betting previews and articles.

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