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Juventus prepare for Benfica showdown

Published: Friday 25 April 2014, 14.29CET
Juventus are out to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit and reach the final at their home stadium as they take on an SL Benfica side determined to improve on last season's runners-up finish.
Juventus prepare for Benfica showdown
Action from Benfica's 2-1 first-leg win in Lisbon ©AFP/Getty Images

Tournament statistics

JuventusBenfica

Goals scored10
 
14
Possession (%)54
 
46
Total attempts124
 
100
on target55
 
52
off target46
 
34
blocked23
 
14
against woodwork3
 
0
Corners49
 
42
Offsides33
 
15
Yellow cards8
 
22
Red Cards1
 
2
Fouls committed105
 
151
Fouls suffered104
 
103
Passes4219
 
4368
completed3554
 
3474

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Published: Friday 25 April 2014, 14.29CET

Juventus prepare for Benfica showdown

Juventus are out to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit and reach the final at their home stadium as they take on an SL Benfica side determined to improve on last season's runners-up finish.

One goal could be enough to book Juventus a place in the UEFA Europa League final at their own stadium, but SL Benfica will be in no mood to surrender as they look to improve on a runners-up finish last season.

• Lima's late strike earned Benfica a 2-1 first-leg win in Lisbon; Ezequiel Garay had headed the Portuguese champions into an early lead, but Carlos Tévez equalised with his first UEFA competition goal in over five years.

• Benfica also won the first leg of their 2010/11 semi-final 2-1 at home, against SC Braga, but failed to reach the final after losing the second leg 1-0. A 2-1 home win was also insufficient for Lisbon neighbours Sporting the following season as they lost the second leg of their semi-final 3-1 to Athletic Club. Those are the only instances of a 2-1 home win in the first leg of a UEFA Europa League semi-final.

Previous meetings
• This is the third two-legged tie between these sides in UEFA competition. Otto Glória's Benfica beat Heriberto Herrera's Juventus 2-0 in Lisbon and 1-0 in Turin in the 1967/68 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-finals.

• The teams for the sides' first meeting in Turin, on 15 May 1968, were:
Juventus: Anzolin, Bercellino, Coramini, Salvadore, Del Sol, Leoncini, Roveta, Sacco, De Paoli, Magnusson, Zigoni.
Benfica: José Henrique, Adolfo Calisto, Fernando Cruz, Humberto Fernandes, Jacinto Santos, José Augusto, Mário Coluna, Jaime Graça, Eusébio, António Simões, José Torres.

• Giovanni Trapattoni's Juventus then recovered from a 2-1 first-leg defeat to eliminate António Oliveira's Benfica in the quarter-finals en route to winning the 1992/93 UEFA Cup thanks to a 3-0 second-leg success.

• The teams for that Turin meeting on 17 March 1993 were:
Juventus: Peruzzi, Carrera, Torricelli, D Baggio, Kohler, Júlio César, Möller (Ravanelli 65), Conte, Vialli, R Baggio (Galia 55), Marocchi.
Benfica: Silvino (Neno 2), António Veloso, Hélder, Carlos Mozer, Paulo Madeira (Rui Águas 45), Paulo Sousa, Vítor Paneira, Schwarz, João Pinto, Yuran, Rui Costa.

• Current Juventus coach Antonio Conte played in both legs of that tie. Paulo Sousa, who started for Benfica, played for Juve from 1994 to 1996, winning the Scudetto, one Coppa Italia and the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League with the club.

• Trapattoni was in charge of Benfica in 2004/05, leading the club to the Portuguese title and the Portuguese Cup final.

• In their previous trips to Turin, Benfica played at the Stadio Olimpico (1967/68) and the Stadio delle Alpi (1992/93). The Juventus Stadium – built on the site of the Delle Alpi – will be the third Turin venue in which they have played.

Match background
• Juventus's ten encounters with Portuguese sides have ended W5 D1 L4 (W3 D0 L1 at home), including the final of the 1984 European Cup Winners' Cup, where they beat FC Porto 2-1 in Basel. All four of those defeats came against Benfica.

• Benfica – who claimed their 33rd Portuguese league title on 20 April – have played 28 games against Italian clubs with the record W9 D4 L15 (W3 D0 L10 in Italy, including the final of the 1965 European Cup, which they lost to FC Internazionale Milano in Milan). They have twice lost European Cup finals to AC Milan, 2-1 in London in 1963 and 1-0 in Vienna in 1990.

• Benfica (W6 D1) are the only unbeaten side left in this season's UEFA Europa League.

• Juventus are unbeaten in six European home games this season (W3 D3), but kept only one clean sheet in that run. The defeat in Lisbon was Juve's first in the competition this season and only their second in 17 UEFA Europa League matches, ending a run of 12 without defeat stretching back to the 2009/10 round of 16, when they lost 4-1 at Fulham FC.

• Benfica have won their last four European away fixtures. They also hold records for the most UEFA Europa League wins (25), goals (68) and knockout stage appearances (30).

Team facts
• Leonardo Bonucci turns 27 on the day of the Benfica decider.

• Tévez will make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance if he takes the field in Turin. Miralem Sulejmani reached the same mark in the first leg.

• Benfica's Óscar Cardozo has scored the most European goals of any player left in the UEFA Europa League: 34 in 75 appearances.

• Andrea Pirlo has made the most European club competition appearances of all the players in the semi-finals: 128.

• Juventus are the only 2012/13 domestic champions remaining in the competition.

• Benfica's Brazilian goalkeeper Artur played in Italy from 2007 to 2010; he was on the books at AC Siena in 2007/08 along with Juventus midfielder Paolo de Ceglie, but spent much of the campaign on loan at Serie B side AC Cesena. Then, from 2008 to 2010, he played alongside Juve's Montenegrin forward Mirko Vučinić at AS Roma, though Artur was not a first-team regular.

• The only Juventus player with Portuguese experience is reserve goalkeeper Rubinho, who was first choice at Vitória FC in the latter part of 2005/06, playing in a 1-0 loss at Benfica.

• This is Juventus's first European semi-final since they reached the final of the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League, where they lost on penalties to Serie A rivals AC Milan. They have not reached the semi-finals of this competition since 1995, when they were beaten by Parma FC in the final.

• Juventus (1977, 1990, 1993) are one of three former UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League winners in the semi-finals, along with Sevilla FC (2006, 2007) and Valencia CF (2004). They are also one of only three teams who have won the competition three times, along with Inter (1990/91, 1993/94, 1997/98) and Liverpool FC (1972/73, 1975/76, 2000/01).

• Benfica are the only club in the semi-finals never to have won the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League; they have been losing finalists in both incarnations of the competition – to RSC Anderlecht in the two-legged 1982/83 final, and to Chelsea FC in last season's Amsterdam showpiece.

• The Eagles are on an upward trajectory in the UEFA Europa League. They reached the quarter-finals in 2009/10, the semi-finals in 2010/11 and – after a one-season absence – the 2012/13 final.

• Other past players the sides have in common include Italy forward Fabrizio Miccoli (Juventus 2003–05, Benfica, on loan, 2005–07) and former Portugal left-back Dimas Teixeira (Benfica 1994–96, Juventus 1996–99).

Coach information
• Antonio Conte has led Juventus to back-to-back Italian titles since taking charge at his old club in 2011. The 44-year-old started out as a midfielder at home-town team US Lecce, then represented Juve from 1991 to 2004, winning five Serie A titles, the 1992/93 UEFA Cup and the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League among a host of other trophies. He returned as a coach after spells in charge of US Arezzo, AS Bari, Atalanta BC and Siena.

• Conte is the only coach left in the competition who won the UEFA Cup as a player, with Juventus in 1992/93.

• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus followed his father Jesus Virgolino by signing for Sporting Clube de Portugal as a youngster and was a journeyman midfielder before moving into coaching. He took charge of a number of Portuguese clubs and was given the Benfica job in June 2009 after leading Braga to the last 16 of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup. He guided the Eagles to the title in his first campaign and to the final of last season's UEFA Europa League.

Shoot-out record
• Juventus's record in six UEFA competition shoot-outs is W4 L2:
2-3 (neutral) v AC Milan, 2002/03 UEFA Champions League final
4-2 (neutral) v AFC Ajax, 1995/96 UEFA Champions League final
3-1 (home) v Real Madrid CF, 1986/87 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round
4-2 (neutral) v AA Argentinos Juniors, 1985 European/South American Cup final
1-4 (home) v Widzew Łódź, 1980/81 UEFA Cup second round
3-0 (home) v AFC Ajax, 1977/78 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals

• Benfica's record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L1:
4-1 (home) v PAOK, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round
5-6 (neutral) v PSV Eindhoven, 1987/88 European Champion Clubs' Cup final

Final permutations
• Sevilla FC or Valencia CF will be the home team in the final, which means that if Juventus make it past Benfica, they would be the nominal away side in their own stadium on 14 May.

• The Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica could briefly house both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League trophies if Benfica are triumphant, with the UEFA Champions League final there on 24 May.

• Juve can become the third side since the UEFA Cup final became a one-off match in 1997/98 to compete in the showpiece at their home arena. Feyenoord triumphed in Rotterdam in 2002/03, but Sporting lost in 2004/05 in Lisbon.

• Benfica have yet to meet Valencia, but were eliminated by Sevilla in the preliminary round of the 1957/58 European Cup, losing 3-1 in Spain then drawing 0-0 in Lisbon.

• Juve have met neither Sevilla nor Valencia in UEFA competition.

Last updated: 29/04/14 14.54CET

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