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Benfica eye unique Merseyside double

Published: Friday 19 March 2010, 1.04CET
SL Benfica have been in superb form at home in the UEFA Europa League this season and welcome Liverpool FC having already beaten their Merseyside neighbours Everton in Lisbon.
Benfica eye unique Merseyside double
Benfica have scored more goals than any side left in the competition ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored24
Attempts on target161
Attempts off target1
Fouls committed170
Yellow cards23
Red cards0

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Published: Friday 19 March 2010, 1.04CET

Benfica eye unique Merseyside double

SL Benfica have been in superb form at home in the UEFA Europa League this season and welcome Liverpool FC having already beaten their Merseyside neighbours Everton in Lisbon.

SL Benfica will look to complete a unique Merseyside double as they host Liverpool FC in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final opener, having already beaten the Reds' local rivals Everton earlier in the competition.

Previous meetings
• Liverpool and Benfica have met in four previous two-legged European ties, with the Reds winning all but the most recent one, in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League first knockout round when Ronald Koeman's Eagles beat Rafael Benítez's side 1-0 in Lisbon and 2-0 at Anfield.

• The teams for the meeting in Lisbon on 21 February 2006 were:
Benfica: Moretto, Anderson, Luisão, Léo (Rocha, 87), Petit, Alcides, Fernandes, Beto (Karagounis, 58), Simão, Nuno Gomes, Robert (Nelson, 77).
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Hyypiä, Riise, Kewell, Luis García, Fowler (Cissé, 66), Alonso, Morientes (Gerrard, 78), Sissoko (Hamann, 35), Carragher.

• In terms of individual games, Liverpool have had the better of the meetings with five wins to Benfica's three. However, Liverpool have lost all three of their most recent matches against Benfica without scoring.

• Ian Rush is Liverpool's top scorer in their games against Benfica, registering five times as the Reds eliminated the Eagles in the 1983/84 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals and the second round of the following season's competition.

• The sides met for the first time in the 1977/78 European Cup last eight, Liverpool winning 2-1 in Lisbon and 4-1 at home. Nené scored both of Benfica's goals while six different Reds players were on target: Jimmy Case, Emlyn Hughes, Ian Callaghan, Kenny Dalglish, Terry McDermott and Phil Neal.

Match background
• All in, Benfica's 23 games against English sides have yielded a record of W8 D2 L13 (W5 D2 L4 in Lisbon).

• Including their previous encounters with Benfica, Liverpool have played 14 matches against Portuguese sides, with the record W7 D4 L3 (W2 D3 L2 away).

• Benfica will be only the second side to have faced both big Liverpool clubs in the space of a single European season, having already beaten Everton 5-0 at home and 2-0 away in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage.

• R. Standard de Liège played both Liverpool and Everton last season, losing 1-0 on aggregate to the Reds in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round before beating the Toffees 4-3 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup first round.

• Benfica are unbeaten in eight European games since losing 1-0 at AEK Athens FC in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage. Their six home matches in Europe this season have produced five wins and a draw.

• Liverpool's record from five away games this season is W2 D1 L2.

Team facts
• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus led SC Braga to a 3-0 success at home against Portsmouth FC in last season's UEFA Cup group stage. That, coupled with his side's results against Everton this season, means he has won all three of his games against English opposition, by an aggregate 10-0 scoreline.

• Benfica's 21 goals since the start of the group stage make them the highest-scoring side left in the competition, though Valencia CF are not far off the pace with 20. Benfica have also had the most shots on goal of the last-eight challengers, 132.

• Benfica have scored 15 of their 21 UEFA Europa League goals in the second half.

• Goalkeeper Júlio César is the only Benfica player to have featured in all 900 minutes of the Lisbon side's UEFA Europa League campaign since the start of the group stage. Javi García, Angel Di María and Óscar Cardozo have also featured in all ten games in that period.

• Cardozo is Benfica's top scorer in Europe this season with six goals and is the most prolific marksman left in the competition. Eliminated Werder Bremen's Claudio Pizarro remains the highest scorer with nine goals.

• Di María and Bremen's Mesut Özil have produced more assists than anyone else in the UEFA Europa League this season, with six each.

• Liverpool defender Fábio Aurélio and Benfica midfielder Pablo Aimar played together at Valencia from 2001 to 2006, winning league titles in 2001/02 and 2003/04, as well as the 2003/04 UEFA Cup, under Benítez, who left the club in 2004 to take charge at Liverpool.

• Benfica's Javier Saviola and Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina were team-mates at FC Barcelona in the 2001/02 season.

• Benfica's César Peixoto rubbed shoulders with Liverpool midfielder Albert Riera while on loan at RCD Espanyol in 2006/07.

• No Liverpool player has scored more than twice since the start of the UEFA Champions League group stage, with Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel, David Ngog and Yossi Benayoun all going into the quarter-finals with two European goals for the season.

• Benfica and Liverpool boast a more extensive European pedigree than any of the other sides left in the competition, going into the first leg as veterans of 319 and 290 UEFA club competition games respectively.

• Liverpool, however, have the more impressive trophy haul: they have won the European Cup five times to Benfica's two, and have also lifted the UEFA Cup three times.

• Four of the sides in the quarter-finals competed in the UEFA Europa League group stage: Benfica, Fulham FC, Hamburger SV and Valencia. The other four transferred from the UEFA Champions League group stage: Club Atlético de Madrid, Liverpool, Standard and VfL Wolfsburg.

• By a quirk of the draw, all four quarter-final ties feature one side from the UEFA Champions League group stage and one from the UEFA Europa League.

• The tie concludes in Liverpool on 8 April. The winners face the victors of the contest between Valencia and Atlético Madrid in the semi-finals on 22 and 29 April, playing the second leg at home. Whoever comes through that meeting will be the nominal home team in the final in Hamburg on 12 May.

Last updated: 27/09/14 3.11CET