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UCL Q/Finals: Liverpool Target First Ever Win Away To Benfica

UCL Q/Finals: Liverpool Target First Ever Win Away To Benfica

Liverpool travel to the Estadio da Luz for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final with Portuguese giants Benfica on Tuesday night.

Jurgen Klopp’s side eliminated Serie A champions Inter Milan 2-1 on aggregate to get to the last eight of this season’s competition.

After claiming a 2-0 win at the San Siro, Liverpool suffered a 1-0 defeat at Anfield to 10-man Inter thanks to Lautaro Martinez’s strike.

While two-time European champions, Benfica, claimed a 3-2 win over Ajax over two legs.

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Liverpool are on the hunt for the quadruple and already have one trophy in the bag, which is the League Cup after overcoming Chelsea on penalties in the final.

And to realize the quadruple dream which has never been achieved by any English club, the Reds must do what they have never done before, that is beat Benfica away.

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Prior to today’s game, both teams have clashed four times with Benfica claiming three wins suffering just one defeat.

The Portuguese have won their two home games against Liverpool. Their first ever clash was in 2006 Champions League first leg round of 16 tie played in Portugal which Benfica won 1-0. The return leg saw Benfica claim a 2-0 win also.

And their next encounter in Portugal was in the quarter-finals of the 2010 Europa League which Benfica also won 2-1. However, the Reds won 4-1 at Anfield in the reverse fixture.

Meanwhile, Benfica’s injury situation has remained fairly stable in recent weeks, with Haris Seferovic back as a substitute in the loss to Braga on Friday night.

Fellow striker Rodrigo Pinho is still absent, though, as is Lucas Verissimo, whose season is seemingly over as he recovers from a ruptured cruciate ligament.

Former Premier League star Adel Taarabt also missed the Braga loss due to an adductor issue but has since taken part in training and will seemingly be fine for this one.

Nicolas Otamendi – one of seven Benfica players who would miss the second leg if they are booked here – and Jan Vertonghen prepare for their returns to the familiar Anfield turf, and Nunez will undoubtedly return to the first XI, most likely in place of Goncalo Ramos.

Despite Klopp initially claiming that Trent Alexander-Arnold would take “weeks” to recover from his hamstring issue, the right-back was on the bench against Watford and could be ready for his return.

Curtis Jones and Joel Matip are also expected to be passed fit despite picking up minor ankle and head knocks respectively, while Naby Keita is ready to make his comeback from a knee injury as Klopp selects from a fully-fit squad this week.

Mohamed Salah endured a tough time of things against Hassane Kamara on Saturday, and with Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz providing fresher options from the bench, Klopp has a massive decision to make in the final third this week.

Photo credit: thisisanfield.com

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