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Leipzig v Benfica facts

Victory at Benfica on Matchday 1 provided the springboard for Leipzig, who will qualify from Group G with another win.

Leipzig celebrate victory at Zenit
Leipzig celebrate victory at Zenit ©AFP/Getty Images

RB Leipzig have won three of their four Group G games to put themselves within touching distance of reaching the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the first time, while Benfica's own hopes are in the balance on Matchday 5.

• On Matchday 1 a Timo Werner double helped Leipzig to a 2-1 success in Lisbon despite Haris Seferović's late response for the home side.

• Leipzig have added two wins and a defeat to that result and head the standings on nine points, two above Lyon with Zenit third on four points and Benfica fourth on three.

Highlights: Benfica 1-2 Leipzig

• Leipzig will be through if they avoid defeat against Benfica and will clinch first place if they win and Lyon do not. Benfica, meanwhile, will be unable to finish in the top two if they do not beat Leipzig.

• Although Matchday 1 was the teams' first competitive contest, they met in a summer 2017 friendly, Leipzig winning 2-0 in London with Marcel Halstenberg scoring one of the goals.

Form guide
• After beating Benfica on Matchday 1 Leipzig went down 2-0 at home to Lyon, although they bounced back to defeat Zenit home (2-1) and away (2-0) to make it five wins in their ten UEFA Champions League fixtures.

Highlights: Zenit 0-2 Leipzig

• Third in the Bundesliga last season and German Cup finalists, this is Leipzig's third European campaign, and only their 29th match. In 2017/18 they became the first team to make their European debut in the UEFA Champions League group stage, when they picked up seven points to finish third in a section including Beşiktaş, Porto and Monaco. They went on to reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals before losing to Marseille.

• Leipzig's first European home game was a 1-1 draw against Monaco on Matchday 1 two years ago; also at home in that season's group stage, they beat Porto 3-2 in their only other game against a Portuguese club in Germany, but lost 2-1 to Beşiktaş.

• Matchday 1 made it two wins and a defeat in Leipzig's three matches against Portuguese clubs, with six goals scored and the same number conceded.

Highlights: Leipzig 2-1 Zenit

• In 2018/19 the German club came through three qualifying rounds to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage, but finished behind Salzburg and Celtic to drop out of the competition, collecting seven points from their six games.

• Leipzig have won eight of their 14 home European matches (D2 L4), although only two of the last five (D1 L2).

• Despite beating Lyon 2-1 on Matchday 3, the defeats at home by Leipzig and at Zenit and Lyon (both 1-3) mean Benfica have won only three of their last 17 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D1 L13).

Highlights: Lyon 3-1 Benfica

• In 2018/19 Benfica finished third behind Bayern München and Ajax in Group E, moving into the UEFA Europa League having picked up seven points. They went on to beat Galatasaray (2-1 aggregate) and Dinamo Zagreb (3-1 aggregate) only to succumb to Eintracht Frankfurt on away goals in the quarter-finals (4-2 h, 0-2 a).

• Benfica have been defeated in 15 of their last 27 European fixtures.

• Despite victories at PAOK, AEK and Galatasaray last season, Benfica have won only three of their last 15 fixtures outside Portugal (D2 L10).

• Last season's defeat at Eintracht made it five successive losses in Germany for Benfica, who have conceded 15 goals in that run, scoring only two. They have won only two of their 25 away fixtures in Germany, suffering 17 defeats, and were also beaten on German soil by PSV Eindhoven in the 1988 European Cup final, losing on penalties after a 0-0 draw in Stuttgart.

• Champions of Portugal for a record 37th time last season, Benfica are in the group stage for the 15th time, although only five of those previous 14 campaigns have extended into the last 16; they also reached the quarter-finals direct in 1994/95.

Highlights: Zenit 3-1 Benfica

• The Lisbon giants have reached seven European Cup finals, winning the trophy in 1961 and 1962.

Links and trivia
• Benfica goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos was born in Germany and began his career with hometown club Stuttgart. He was an unused squad member in Germany's 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship victory.

• Benfica striker Seferović played for Eintracht Frankfurt for three seasons, scoring 16 Bundesliga goals, before moving to Lisbon in 2017. He was in the team that lost 3-0 to Leipzig in January 2017, Werner scoring the second goal, while Marcel Sabitzer and Yussuf Poulsen were on target in a 2-2 draw between Leipzig and Eintracht that May.

• Emil Forsberg scored the only goal as Sweden won 1-0 win against a Switzerland side for whom Seferović came on as a second-half substitute in the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16.

• International team-mates:
Yvon Mvogo & Haris Seferović (Switzerland).

• Yussuf Poulsen scored the only goal as Denmark beat Seferović's Switzerland 1-0 win in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying on 12 October. 

• Hannes Wolf was in the Salzburg team that beat Benfica 2-1 to win the 2017 UEFA Youth League final; Rúben Dias, Florentino Luís, Gedson Fernandes and Jota featured for the Portuguese side.

Latest news

• Leipzig have won their last five competitive games, scoring 24 goals and conceding only four. They were 4-1 victors at home to Köln on Saturday.

• Four days after the success at Zenit, Leipzig won 4-2 at Hertha Berlin, Timo Werner scoring twice. The striker has 16 goals in 18 games this season for Leipzig, including the opener against Köln at the weekend.

• The 8-0 home victory against Mainz on 2 November was the club's record win. They last scored eight goals in a game in an 8-2 defeat of Wilhelmshaven in the fourth-tier Regionalliga Nord on 19 February 2012.

• Marcel Halstenberg made his first appearance since Matchday 4 on Saturday although Nordi Mukiele has not played since 9 November due to a muscle injury.

• Willi Orban was replaced in the first half of Leipzig's 6-1 German Cup win at Wolfsburg on 30 October having suffered a knee injury that required an operation; he is not expected to play again until 2020.

• Kevin Kampl is not expected to play again in 2019 after surgery on his right ankle.

• Patrik Schick (out since 14 October, ankle) returned as a late substitute on Saturday.

• Ibrahima Konaté (out since 2 October, hip), Tyler Adams (beginning of August, metatarsal) and Hannes Wolf (17 June, broken ankle) are all back in training.*

• On Saturday, Benfica came from behind to win 2-1 at third-tier Vizela in the last 32 of the Portuguese Cup.

• The Eagles have kicked off their defence of the Liga title with ten wins in 11 matches, suffering only one defeat – a 2-0 loss at home to Porto on 24 August.

• That defeat ended Benfica's 11-match winning run in the league; they have won 19 of their last 20 matches in the competition.

• Benfica have scored 55 goals in their last 18 league matches.

• The Lisbon club have kept eight clean sheets in the league this season, including six in their last eight matches.

• A 1-0 win at Tondela on 27 October was a 25th Liga win for Bruno Lage, in his 27th match in charge – the fastest coach to that mark in Benfica's history.

• Carlos Vinícius has four goals in his last five league matches and also scored the late winner in the weekend cup victory against Vizela.

• Pizzi has provided a goal and an assist in each of Benfica's last two Liga games. He now has 13 goals in 18 club appearances in all competitions this season.

• Pizzi scored in Portugal's 6-0 home win against Lithuania on 14 November and also featured three days later in a 2-0 win in Luxembourg that secured qualification for UEFA EURO 2020.

• Rúben Dias played every minute of Portugal's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying campaign.

• Odisseas Vlachodimos kept goal in Greece's final two UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers – wins against Armenia (1-0 away) and Finland (2-1 home).

• Haris Seferović suffered a calf injury warming up during Switzerland's 1-0 win against Georgia on 15 November and sat out the subsequent 6-1 victory in Gibraltar and Benfica's win at Vizela.

• Tomás Tavares and Florentino made their Under-21 debuts in Portugal's 0-0 friendly draw at home to Slovenia on 14 November. Florentino and Jota scored in a 3-2 win away to Norway in 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying three days later.

• Ferro returned to the starting line-up at Vizela having not played since Matchday 4; he had had to be replaced early on at Lyon due to a head injury.

• Rafa Silva was out between Matchday 2 and 3 with an adductor problem; he scored the opening goal against Lyon but was forced off by a thigh injury midway through the first half and is likely to be out for the rest of the year.

• Benfica won the Portuguese Super Cup on 4 August with a 5-0 win against Lisbon rivals Sporting CP.