Benfica braced for dangerous Dortmund

Benfica must try to contain Borussia Dortmund's free-scoring attackers when these two former European Cup winners meet in Lisbon for the first leg of their last-16 contest.

Rui Vitória must find a strategy to stop Dortmund
Rui Vitória must find a strategy to stop Dortmund ©AFP/Getty Images

SL Benfica face the task of stopping Borussia Dortmund's free-scoring attackers when these two former European Cup-winning clubs come together in Lisbon for the first leg of their round of 16 contest.

Dortmund set a scoring record in the group stage – hitting 21 goals as they finished above Real Madrid CF in Group F – and now turn their sights on Benfica, the two-time winners who finished as Group B runners-up behind SSC Napoli.

Previous meetings
• Dortmund prevailed when the clubs met in the European Champion Clubs' Cup first round in 1963/64. Benfica won the first leg 2-1 in Lisbon as António Simões and Eusébio struck either side of Dortmund's Reinhold Wosab, but they were overwhelmed 5-0 in the return with Franz Brungs hitting a hat-trick and Friedhelm 'Timo' Konietzka and Wosab also on target.

Match background

Benfica
• Benfica are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the third time in the past six seasons. Last year they beat FC Zenit 1-0 at home and 2-1 away at this stage before a 3-2 aggregate loss to FC Bayern München in the last eight.

• Benfica gained the fewest points (eight) of the 16 teams that survived the group phase.

• Rui Vitória's men have lost two of their last ten UEFA Champions League home fixtures (W5 D3). One of those defeats was against Napoli (1-2) on matchday six.

• Including last April's 2-2 home draw with Bayern in the quarter-finals, Benfica are unbeaten in four home matches against German opposition. The last Bundesliga side to beat them in Lisbon were FC Schalke 04, 2-1 group stage victors in December 2010.

• Their overall home record against German clubs is W10 D8 L2.

Dortmund
• UEFA Champions League winners in 1997, Dortmund are seeking a third quarter-final appearance this decade.

• Dortmund had never won in Portugal until 2016 but are now chasing a third victory there in the last 12 months having already scalped Porto in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16 (1-0) and Sporting Clube de Portugal (2-1) in this term's group stage. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Julian Weigl scored in the latter success, which Dortmund followed up by beating Sporting 1-0 at home.

• Dortmund's record-breaking 21-goal haul in the group stage included ten away goals – six of which came in their 6-0 stroll at Legia Warzsawa on matchday one.

• Overall Thomas Tuchel's team have lost just two of 11 European away fixtures played since the start of last season (W7 D2 L2).

Player links
• Eliseu netted for Málaga CF in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg at Dortmund in April 2013. His goal put Málaga 2-1 up on the night – and overall – but the Bundesliga side snatched a 3-2 victory with two added-time goals.

• Eliseu was in the Portugal team that eliminated Łukasz Piszczek's Poland on penalties in the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-finals.

• André Schürrle struck twice against Júlio César in Germany's 7-1 win over Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In that same tournament Schürrle, as a substitute, appeared alongside Mario Götze in a 4-0 group stage thrashing of a Portugal outfit including substitute André Almeida.

• Schürrle scored and Gonzalo Castro also played in Bayer 04 Leverkusen's 2-1 defeat at Benfica in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32. Leverkusen had lost the first leg 1-0 on 14 February – the same day on which this first leg takes place. Luisão, André Almeida, Jardel and Eduardo Salvio played for Benfica.

• Castro was still at Leverkusen when they held Benfica 0-0 in Lisbon in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Jonas registered for Valencia CF in away (1-2) and home (3-1) encounters with Schürrle and Castro's Leverkusen in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage. Schürrle scored in Leverkusen.

• Sebastian Rode was an unused Bayern München substitute in both legs of last season's quarter-final against Benfica.

• Ljubomir Fejsa lost 1-0 at Dortmund with Olympiacos FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Kostas Mitroglou holds German citizenship and had spells in the youth ranks at MSV Duisburg and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach.

• Rafa Silva featured as a Portugal substitute alongside Raphaël Guerreiro in a 5-0 win over Matthias Ginter's Germany in the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-finals.

• Have played together:
Kostas Mitroglou & Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Andreas Samaris (Greece)
Eliseu, Rafa Silva & Raphaël Guerreiro (Portugal)

Match facts

Benfica
• Pizzi and Andreas Samaris are a booking away from a ban; Andrija Živković is serving a one-game suspension.

• Benfica have won 12 of their 15 fixtures in all competitions, losing two of them, since the 2-1 home defeat by Napoli on matchday six.

• The Eagles' Portuguese League Cup campaign ended with a 3-1 semi-final loss at Moreirense FC on 26 January.

• Jonas, the 32-goal leading marksman in the Portuguese top flight last season, has scored eight times in all competitions since returning from a four-month injury lay-off on 17 December.

• Pizzi (until 2022) and Ederson (2023) penned new contracts on 23 January.

• The Lisbon club signed Filipe Augusto from Rio Ave last month. 

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Andrija Živković, Filipe Augusto
Out: João Carvalho, Guillermo Celis, Gilson Costa, Álex Grimaldo, Gonçalo Guedes

Dortmund
• Guerreiro will incur a suspension with his next booking.

• Dortmund were nine matches undefeated in all competitions, drawing six of them, prior to Saturday's 2-1 loss at lowly SV Darmstadt 98.

• Tuchel's side overcame Hertha BSC Berlin 3-2 on penalties in the German Cup third round on 8 February. Dortmund will visit third-tier VfL Sportfreunde Lotte in the quarter-finals.

• Weigl (until 2021) and Christian Pulišić (2020) have penned new deals since matchday six.

• BVB signed 17-year-old Swedish international Alexander Isak from AIK on 23 January, although the teenager has not been included in Dortmund's UEFA Champions League squad.

• The Schwarzgelben announced on 5 February that Leverkusen defender Ömer Toprak will join the club in the summer.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Mikel Merino
Out: Adrián Ramos

UEFA makes new donation of €100,000 to ICRC
UEFA will mark a decade of helping Afghan landmine victims on Wednesday, when Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos presents a cheque for €100,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"I would like to pay tribute to the ICRC, who have been working relentlessly to help landmine victims, many of whom are children. Their programme in Afghanistan, which has been in place for several years, shows that football can offer real hope in challenging times," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

"I am glad that UEFA can help this cause, and that the sport we love can have a positive impact on the rehabilitation process of so many people in this troubled region," he added.

The donation supports the ICRC's physical rehabilitation programme for landmine victims and other people with disabilities in Afghanistan – providing artificial limbs, physiotherapy, vocational training and access to the rehabilitation centre's football team. About a third of patients are children.

Sergio Ramos will present the donation before his side's UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Napoli at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid on 15 February.

"The people benefiting from the ICRC programme in Afghanistan are an inspiration to us, as they set an example of how to approach life in a positive manner despite the problems that they face," the Real Madrid captain said.

Sergio Ramos was chosen to hand over the cheque after receiving the most votes in UEFA.com's Team of the Year, which was published in January, and added that it is "a privilege" to be "a source of motivation" to so many people.

"They don't stop dreaming, and they fight to make their dreams come true. As key figures in this sport, it's a true privilege for us footballers to be a source of motivation in their day-to-day lives, and to help them out," he said.

Over the course of a partnership lasting almost 20 years, UEFA has donated in excess of €3.5m to the ICRC to help disadvantaged people around the globe. Meanwhile, over 7 million votes were cast in selecting the UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2016. More information on the award is available online at en.toty.uefa.com.

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