Benfica set out stall for Juventus

SL Benfica take on Juventus for the fifth time in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final, looking for a third successive home victory against the Turin side.

Jorge Jesus during Benfica's quarter-final win against AZ
Jorge Jesus during Benfica's quarter-final win against AZ ©AFP/Getty Images

Runners-up last season, SL Benfica are within one round of another UEFA Europa League decider but must account for final hosts Juventus if they are to make it to Turin on 14 May.

Previous meetings
• This is the third two-legged tie between these sides in UEFA competition; Otto Glória's Benfica got the better of Heriberto Herrera's Juventus with two wins in the semi-finals of the 1967/68 European Champion Clubs' Cup; Giovanni Trapattoni's Juventus then recovered from a first-leg defeat to eliminate António Oliveira's Benfica in the quarter-finals en route to winning the 1992/93 UEFA Cup.

• The teams for the sides' first meeting in Lisbon, a 2-0 Benfica win on 9 May 1968, were:
Benfica: José Henrique, Adolfo Calisto, Fernando Cruz, Humberto Fernandes, Jacinto Santos, Mário Coluna, Jaime Graça, José Augusto, Eusébio, António Simões, José Torres.
Juventus: Anzolin, Bercellino, Castano, Salvadore, Del Sol, Leoncini, Roveta, Sacco, De Paoli, Magnusson, Zigoni.

• The teams for their most recent Lisbon meeting, a 2-1 Benfica triumph on 4 March 1993, were:
Benfica: Silvino, José Carlos (Rui Águas 63), Hélder, Carlos Mozer, António Veloso, Paulo Sousa, Vítor Paneira, Schwarz, João Pinto, Yuran (Pacheco 64), Isaías.
Juventus: Peruzzi, Carrera, Torricelli, Dino Baggio, Kohler, Júlio César, Conte, Galia (Di Canio 51), Vialli (De Marchi 84), Roberto Baggio, Möller.

• Current Juventus coach Antonio Conte played in both legs of this tie.

• Paulo Sousa, who started for Benfica, played for Juve from 1994 to 1996, winning the Scudetto, one Italian Cup and the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League during his time in Turin.

• Juventus's coach in this tie, Trapattoni was in charge of Benfica in 2004/05, leading the club to the Portuguese title – and defeat in the final of the Portuguese Cup.

• This will be Juventus's first game at the new Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica – their two previous away fixtures against the Eagles were at the old Da Luz stadium.

• 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
• Benfica – who claimed their 33rd Portuguese league title on 20 April – have played 27 games against Italian clubs with the record W8 D4 L15 (W5 D4 L3 as the home team – W3 D0 L10 in Italy, including the final of the 1965 European Cup, which they lost to FC Internazionale Milano in Milan). These fixtures also include final defeats on neutral territory: 2-1 v AC Milan (1963 European Cup final, London) and 1-0 v AC Milan (1990 European Cup final, Vienna).

• Juventus's nine encounters with Portuguese sides have ended W5 D1 L3 (W3 D0 L1 at home – W1 D1 L2 in Portugal), including the final of the 1984 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, where they beat FC Porto 2-1 on neutral territory in Basel. All three of those defeats came against Benfica.

• Benfica and Juventus (both W5 D1) are the only sides left who have not lost a game in this season's UEFA Europa League.

• Benfica are unbeaten in 12 European home encounters (W10 D2) since a 2-0 loss to FC Barcelona in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage. They have yet to lose a UEFA Europa League (group stage to final) match at home (P17 W15 D2).

• Juve have won their last three European away games and have only ever lost one UEFA Europa League fixture – 4-1 at Fulham FC in the 2009/10 round of 16 – and are unbeaten in eight away games in the competition since then (W5 D3), qualifying included. Their undefeated UEFA Europa League run now stands at 12 matches, and if they can prolong it through the semi-finals and final, they will match Club Atlético de Madrid's competition record.

• Benfica set two UEFA Europa League records with their 2-0 win at home to AZ Alkmaar in the quarter-final second leg – they now have the most victories (24) and the most goals (66) in the new-look competition.

Team facts
• Benfica midfielder Miralem Sulejmani will make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance if he takes the field against Juventus.

• Yet to be used in the UEFA Europa League this season, Benfica midfielder Rúben Pinto celebrates his 22nd birthday on the day of the first leg.

• Benfica's Óscar Cardozo has scored the most UEFA club competition goals of any player left in the UEFA Europa League: 34 in 74 appearances.

• Andrea Pirlo has made the most European club competition appearances of all the players in the semi-finals: 127.

• Juventus are the only 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 the 2007/08 season 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; the 31-year-old Brazilian was first-choice at Setubal-based Vitória FC in the latter part of the 2005/06 season – playing in a 1-0 loss at Benfica.

• This is Juventus's first 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 the 2009/10 campaign, the semi-finals in 2010/11 and – after a one-season absence – the 2012/13 final. They could go a step further and win it this time.

• 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
• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus followed in the footsteps of 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 SC 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.

• 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.

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 end up housing both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup trophies for a few days if Benfica are triumphant in Turin, with the UEFA Champions League trophy to be given out there on 24 May.

• Juve can become the third side since the UEFA Cup was first decided with 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 the 2004/05 final in Lisbon.

• Of their potential final opponents, 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 club competition.