Things are not looking great for BVB at the moment. After losing to bottom of the Bundesliga Darmstadt, they currently are hanging onto 4th on the table. Now it’s time for the champions league knockout stages as we take on Benfica. Benfica are currently on top of the Liga Nos table, leading Porto by one point. In the past year we have easily dispatched the other two of the Portuguese big three, beating Porto in the UEFA League and Sporting twice in UCL groups stages. However, with our current run of form and Benfica being the best of the three, this may not be as easy of a task.
Hopefully well have our ideal starting 11 ready to play in Lisbon. With Piz and Schmelzer back, hopefully they will be our starting fullbacks. After Burnic absolutely didn’t work out at CB, Bartra will probably be back in at centre back with Sokratis next to him. As for the midfield, other then Weigl, it’s hard to say who will be there. Reus has been playing badly, but if he is fit to play Tuchel will probably play him. Between Dembele, Pulisic and Schürrle, I can’t say who will be on the other wing. Ralph may be in the midfield again, after a goal over the weekend. Naturally Aubameyang will need to start up top to help our chances this game, even if he has been having trouble finding the back of the net as of late. Tuchel said in his presser for he game that Götze will not be available.
Benfica has a lot of quality for a side in a weaker league. The big three in Portugal are no small fish, like Warsaw. Sporting gave us two good matches a few months ago. Benfica are 10 points above that Sporting team with more goals scored as well. In their league campaign Benfica have only given up 12 goals while scoring 47. It’s going to be up to our midfield to keep possession this game, our team may not be able to deal with a side as fluid as our own. When it has come to UCl this year, our team has always stepped up to the plate. Our two ties to Real Madrid, who are clearly the best team in the world at the moment, was no easy task. Scoring 14 combined against Warsaw and beating Lisbon twice is nothing to brush off either.
What are your predictions for this tie?