Monaco v Benfica background

AS Monaco FC have four points from their first two fixtures and the Group C leaders seem sure to present a tough test for SL Benfica, who are without a point two matches in.

João Moutinho's goal gave Monaco victory over Leverkusen on matchday one
João Moutinho's goal gave Monaco victory over Leverkusen on matchday one ©AFP/Getty Images

AS Monaco FC lead the way in Group C, with a draw and a win from their first two fixtures, and on paper will present a stern test for an SL Benfica side without a point after two games.

Match background

Monaco
• Monaco have not faced a Portuguese side since the 2004 UEFA Champions League final, when they lost 3-0 to FC Porto.

• They met Sporting Clube de Portugal in the 1997/98 group stage and CF Os Belenenses in the 1989/90 European Cup Winners' Cup first round and won both home games.

• The French club's record against sides from Portugal is W2 D1 L2.

• João Moutinho's goal gave Monaco a 1-0 victory over Bayer 04 Leverkusen on matchday one. Two weeks later they drew 0-0 at FC Zenit.

• This is Monaco's sixth group stage campaign and their first since 2004/05, when they reached the round of 16.

• Last season's Ligue 1 runners-up are back in European competition after an absence of nine years.

Benfica
• Benfica lost 3-0 at Paris Saint-Germain in last season's group stage. They won the home game 2-1 through a Lima penalty and Nicolás Gaitán's effort.

• That made it five wins in their last seven fixtures against Ligue 1 opposition. Overall their record is W13 D6 L7 (W4 D2 L7 in France).

• Benfica have lost to Zenit (0-2) – ending a 51-match unbeaten home run in all competitions – and Leverkusen (1-3) so far this season. The latter was their first defeat in six European away games, four of which they won.

• The capital outfit – European Champion Clubs' Cup winners in 1961 and 1962 – are in their tenth UEFA Champions League group stage campaign.

• Last season they finished third in their section, losing their first two matches on their travels before winning at RSC Anderlecht. In only one of their last six campaigns (2011/12) have they qualified for the knockout rounds.

• In the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League, the Eagles reached the final for the second successive season, drawing 0-0 with Sevilla FC in Turin but losing 4-2 on penalties. In the preceding rounds they recorded three away wins before a 0-0 draw at Juventus in the semi-finals.

Coach and player links
• Bernardo Silva enrolled in the Benfica youth system at 13. After seven years there he was loaned to Monaco this season.

• Dimitar Berbatov scored in Manchester United FC's 2-2 home draw against Benfica in the 2011/12 group stage.

• Moutinho, Rúben Amorim and André Almeida were part of the Portugal squad at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

• Maxi Pereira, Luisão and Amorim started for the Benfica team that beat Moutinho's Sporting in the 2008/09 Portuguese League Cup final.

• Moutinho scored in Porto's 3-1 win over Benfica in the 2010/11 Portuguese Cup semi-final second leg.

• While with Porto, Moutinho played ten times against Benfica (W6 D2 L2), who he came up against 15 more times while at Sporting (W4 D6 L5).

• In three-and-a-half seasons with SC Braga, Elderson lost all three league matches he played against Benfica, but had the satisfaction of scoring in one of them.

• Former team-mates: Nélson Oliveira and Tiémoué Bakayoko (Stade Rennais FC, 2013/14); Tiago and Berbatov (Manchester United, 2010/11).

Match facts

Monaco
• Monaco have won just five of their 12 matches this season in all competitions.

• Having only scored added-time goals in their previous four games – to beat Montpellier Hérault SC 1-0 last month and, on 5 October, to hold Paris Saint-Germain to a 1-1 draw – Monaco were ahead inside two minutes on Saturday through a Moutinho penalty as they defeated Évian Thonon Gaillard FC 2-0 at home.

• Monaco have 14 points from ten matches in 2014/15, eight fewer than at the same stage last season.

• Silva, Layvin Kurzawa, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Anthony Martial all featured in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off against Sweden as France squandered a 2-0 first-leg lead, losing 4-3 on aggregate.

• Monaco pair Moutinho and Ricardo Carvalho played alongside Benfica's Eliseu in Portugal's 2-1 loss to France at the Stade de France on 11 October.

• Lacina Traoré (hamstring) made his first appearance of the campaign on Saturday. Borja López (knee) has yet to play this season.

• Aymen Abdennour, sidelined with a left thigh injury since August, returned to action with 90 minutes as Tunisia drew 0-0 in Senegal on 10 October.

Benfica
• Artur is available after serving a one-game ban on matchday two.

• Benfica have won six of their first seven Liga matches this season, scoring 19 goals in the process.

• Benfica's unbeaten record at home in league games dates back to March 2012 and a 3-2 defeat against Porto.

• Brazilian forward Jonas, who is not in Benfica's UEFA Champions League squad, marked his debut with a goal on 5 October in a 4-0 home win against FC Arouca. Derley was also on target with his first goal for the club.

• A much-changed Benfica team won 3-2 at second-tier SC Covilhã on Saturday to reach the Portuguese Cup fourth round. Jonas scored a hat-trick, his opener coming from the spot after two minutes.

• Gonçalo Guedes, César, Loris Benito, Nélson Oliveira and Victor Lindelöf made their first appearances of the season against Covilhã.

• Enzo Pérez came on as a substitute in Argentina's 2-0 defeat by Brazil in China on 11 October and started three days later alongside Gaitán, who scored twice, in a 7-0 victory over Hong Kong.

• Júlio César has not featured since matchday two because of a back problem. Ola John went off in the first half against Covilhã with a muscle injury.

• Benfica lost 1-0 to an Iran side coached by Carlos Queiroz in a training camp friendly on 14 October.

• Benfica completed the clean sweep of domestic trophies in 2014 on 10 August, prevailing 3-2 on penalties after the Portuguese Super Cup against Rio Ave FC ended 0-0 at 120 minutes.

• Amorim was left out of Benfica's UEFA Champions League squad after suffering knee ligament damage in the 1-0 win at Boavista FC on 24 August.

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