Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Benfica Live Stream and Highlights
Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Benfica Preview:
Date: February 14, 2013; Time: 6:00 PM UTC;
Venue: BayArena — Leverkusen.
Both teams will be looking for advantage in the first leg having full strength squads. Benfica are unbeaten in the league, while Leverkusen are flying high in third place. It will be one of the most intriguing fixtures of this Europa League round, counting on Leverkusen’s home form.
Leverkusen stands third in the German Bundesliga with 38 from 21games. Leverkusen have only won loss at home so far this season. Their current form has seen two wins, two draws and one and defeat from last five games. Last five home matches Bayer 04 have finished with four straight wins and one and single home defeat to BvB. In the Europa League group stage home games Leverkusen have two wins against Rapid Vienna and Rosenborg, and a draw with Metalist. Before they lost 2-3 at home to Dortmund, Leverkusen had a 12 games undefeated home run.
Benfica is second in the Primeira with 46 points from 18 games. Benfica has 14 wins in 18 matches so far this season. Also, they haven’t lost a single game. Their current form has seen four straight wins and one draw from last five games. Last five far away from home games Benfica have finished with the same stats. Benfica played in the Champions League in the group with Spartak Moscow, Barcelona and Celtic. At the end they got the third Europa League place behind Barcelona and Celtic. Benfica drew two away games against Celtic and Barcelona, and lost 2-1 to Spartak. Also, Benfica currently has a 13 games away unbeaten run. In general they have are unbeaten in 22 games.
Both teams are close to full strength squads.
Leverkusen is still missing Bellarabi. Omer Toprak is back in the centre of defence after sitting out in the weekend’s game with Gladbach due to suspension, so he will replace Daniel Schwaab. Kiessling is in a great form with support from Schurrle, Castro and Bender. So head coach Sami Hyypia has a very strong team. Sebastian Boenisch was playing at left-back instead of Michal Kadlec. The Czech has returned to fitness, but Boenisch could keep his place in the starting squad. Sidney Sam probably will play on the right-wing, with Castro dropping back into the midfield zone.
Benfica have a great attacking threat Cardozo, Gaitan, Aimar, Rodrigo and Lima. Jorge Jesus have to decide between Lima, Rodrigo and Cardozo, whether to go with one or two forwards. Jardel could start instead of the experienced Luisao, as Nemanja Matic will act as the protection to the back line. Ola John probably will drop Gaitan on the bench, with Salvio support from the right flank.
Bayer 04 line-up: Leno, Boenisch, Toprak, Wollscheid, Carvajal, Bender, Rolfes, Castro, Schürrle, Kießling, Sam.
Last three matches:
Borussia Mönchengladbach 3 – Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3;
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 – Borussia Dortmund 3;
SC Freiburg 0 – Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0.
Benfica line-up: Moraes,Melgarejo,Jardel,Garay,Pereira,Matic,John, Pérez, Salvio, Lima, Rodrigo.
Last three matches:
CD Nacional 2 – Benfica 2;
Benfica 3 – Vitoria Setubal 0;
Sporting Braga 1 – Benfica 2.