Benfica v Lyon facts

Benfica are bottom of Group G and are in urgent need of a win as Lyon, who have a new coach for this game, visit Lisbon.

Benfica are playing catch-up already
Benfica are playing catch-up already ©AFP/Getty Images

Benfica need a rapid improvement in their UEFA Champions League results if they are to avoid being cut adrift in Group G, with Lyon their Matchday 3 opponents in Lisbon.

• While the French side have picked up four points from their first two matches, Benfica have lost both games and are already four points off the pace in the race for the section's two qualifying places.

• Lyon are under new management for this game, Sylvinho having been dismissed as coach on 7 October after only 11 matches in charge with former LOSC Lille, Roma and Marseille boss Rudi Garcia taking over seven days later.

Previous meetings
• Both sides won their home game when the teams met in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage. Lyon were 2-0 winners at the Stade de Gerland on Matchday 3 thanks to goals from Jimmy Briand and Lisandro López.

• Benfica turned the tables with a 4-3 success in Lisbon, Fábio Coentrão scoring what proved to be the winner, his second goal of the game, in the 67th minute before Lyon scored three times in the final 16 minutes.

• Lyon finished second in the section behind Schalke and went on to lose to Real Madrid in the round of 16. Having finished third, Benfica went into the UEFA Europa League round of 32, going on to the semi-finals before losing to fellow Portuguese side Braga.

Highlights: Zenit 3-1 Benfica
Highlights: Zenit 3-1 Benfica

Form guide
Benfica
• Defeats at home by Leipzig on Matchday 1 (1-2) and at Zenit on Matchday 2 (1-3) mean Benfica have won only two of their last 15 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D1 L12).

• In 2018/19 Benfica finished third behind Bayern München and Ajax in Group E, advancing 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 14 of their last 25 European fixtures.

• The first leg against Eintracht last season is the only time Benfica have scored more than one goal in normal time in 16 European games in Lisbon, managing just 15 in total during that sequence.

Highlights: Benfica 1-2 Leipzig
Highlights: Benfica 1-2 Leipzig

• The Eagles have lost only two of their last nine European home matches (W4 D3).

• Benfica have won their last five home games against Ligue 1 clubs, and are unbeaten against French visitors in Lisbon (W10 D4). Home and away, they have won seven of their last 11 fixtures with French clubs (D2 L2).

• 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.

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

Highlights: Leipzig 0-2 Lyon
Highlights: Leipzig 0-2 Lyon

Lyon
• A Memphis Depay penalty earned Lyon a share of the points against Zenit on Matchday 1, before Depay and Martin Terrier, with his first European goal, secured a 2-0 win at Leipzig.

• Third in Ligue 1 last season, this is Lyon's 16th UEFA Champions League group campaign – four more than any other French club – and fourth in five seasons.

• Les Gones won their first game in last season's UEFA Champions League, 2-1 at Manchester City, before drawing the next five and qualifying for the round of 16 with a 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday six. A 5-1 second-leg loss at Barcelona in the 2018/19 last 16, and this season's results, mean they have lost just two of their last 14 European matches (W5 D7).

• The French club have lost only two of their last ten European away fixtures (W5 D3), the reverse at Barcelona ending a five-match unbeaten away run in the UEFA Champions League (W2 D3). They picked up five points away from home in the 2018/19 group stage.

Highlights: Lyon 1-1 Zenit
Highlights: Lyon 1-1 Zenit

• OL last visited Portugal in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage, winning 2-1 in Guimaraes against Vitória SC. That was their second success away to a Liga club in their sixth fixture (D1 L3), and their second victory in their last six matches against a Portuguese side, home and away (D2 L2).

• Lyon were UEFA Champions League semi-finalists in 2010.

Links and trivia
• Has played in Portugal:
Fernando Marçal (Torreense 2010–12, Nacional 2012–15)

• Marçal was a Benfica player between 2015 and 2017 but never played for the first team, spending time on loan at Turkish club Gaziantepspor and Guingamp in France before signing for Lyon. He played against Benfica eight times while in Portugal, all for Nacional (D1 L7), and was sent off in a 2-2 home draw against the Eagles in February 2013.

• Have played in France:
Adel Taarabt (Lens 2004–06)
Carlos Vinícius (Monaco 2019 (loan))

• Have played together:
Adel Taarabt & Moussa Dembélé (Fulham 2013)

How Portugal won Nations League
How Portugal won Nations League

• International team-mates:
André Almeida & Anthony Lopes (Portugal U21)
André Almeida, Rúben Dias, Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Gedson Fernandes & Anthony Lopes (Portugal)

• Rafa Silva and Anthony Lopes were part of the victorious Portugal squad at UEFA EURO 2016 in France.

• Rafa Silva was a late substitute in Portugal's 1-0 win against the Netherlands, for whom Depay played 90 minutes, in the UEFA Nations League final on 9 June.

• Andrija Živković and Youssouf Koné traded goals in Serbia's 2-1 defeat of Mali in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup semi-finals, with Mali's Koné sent off in extra time.

Latest news

Benfica
• The Eagles have kicked off their defence of the Liga title with six wins in seven 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 15 of their last 16 matches in the competition.

• The Porto result was Benfica's first home defeat since a 3-1 loss against Moreirense on 2 November 2018; their record since had been W18 D3. They have won their last two home league matches.

• Benfica have scored 46 goals in their last 14 league matches.

• On Friday Benfica won 4-0 away to second division Cova da Piedade in the last 64 of the Portuguese Cup, Pizzi and Carlos Vinícius both scoring twice.

• Pizzi now has ten goals in 11 Benfica appearances in all competitions this season, while Vinícius has four goals in seven matches, including three in his last three.

• Benfica's top scorer last season, Haris Seferović was named Switzerland's 2018/19 Player of the Year on 7 October.

• Seferović scored in Switzerland's 2-0 win against the Republic of Ireland in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying on 15 October.

• Gedson Fernandes converted a penalty as Portugal defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying on 11 October.

• Benfica captain André Almeida limped off after 78 minutes against Vitória FC on 29 September with an injury to his left thigh, and has not played since.

• Rafa Silva completed 90 minutes against Zenit on Matchday 2 but was subsequently diagnosed with an adductor tendinopathy, missing Portugal's European Qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine and the cup win at Cova da Piedade.

• Chiquinho has been sidelined since the Porto match on 24 August with a thigh problem. Germán Conti (thigh) is also out of action, while Florentino returned from a knee problem as a second-half substitute on Friday.

• On 17 October Ferro extended his contract until June 2024.

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

Lyon
• Lyon's win at Leipzig was the 200th recorded in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, by a French club.

• Lyon parted company with coach Sylvinho on 7 October, the day after a 1-0 defeat at local rivals St-Étienne. Rudi Garcia took over as the Brazilian's replacement on 14 October.

• OL were seven games without a win in all competitions (D4 L3) prior to their Matchday 2 victory at Leipzig, their longest run without a victory since an eight-game sequence between March and May 1996.

• Defeat at St-Étienne and Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Dijon made it eight Ligue 1 games without a win (D4 L4), after Lyon had won their first two games of the campaign. That is Lyon's longest streak without a league win in a single season since August–October 1977.

• Garcia's first Ligue 1 games in charge of LOSC Lille (Nancy, August 2008) and Marseille (Paris Saint-Germain, October 2016) also ended goalless.

• OL scored nine goals without conceding in their first two Ligue 1 games of the season, winning 3-0 at Monaco before beating Angers 6-0.

• The defeat of Angers was Lyon's biggest home league win since an 8-1 victory against Le Mans on 13 May 2006.

• Lyon have ten points after ten league games in 2019/20, seven less than at the same point last season.

• Moussa Dembélé (six) and Memphis Depay (four) have scored ten of Lyon's 14 league goals so far this season.

• Jason Denayer returned to play 90 minutes on Saturday having not featured since 28 September due to a thigh injury.

• Depay scored twice as the Netherlands beat Northern Ireland 3-1 in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying, but missed the 2-1 win away to Belarus three days later with a thigh problem and sat out the Dijon game.

• Bertrand Traoré returned from international duty with Burkina Faso having picked up an ankle injury in the friendly with Gabon on 10 October (0-1), but came on as a second-half substitute against Dijon.

FootballPeople weeks
The FootballPeople weeks take place from 10 to 24 October 2019 and are organised by UEFA's social responsibility partner Fare. The weeks are a global campaign aimed at tackling discrimination and celebrating diversity in football. The UEFA Champions League is offering its full support to the FootballPeople weeks; teams will line up for a mixed photo with the referees, while an #EqualGame hashtag will also be on display. Videos will be played on giant screens at stadiums across Europe, and child mascots will be wearing #FootballPeople t-shirts. UEFA's collaboration with the Fare network's FootballPeople weeks has been running since 2001. The aim of this initiative fits in perfectly with the goals of #EqualGame, which is looking to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility.

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