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Benfica and Chelsea to meet in Europa League final

Will Amsterdam prove lucky for SL Benfica again? Can Chelsea FC become the first team to hold UEFA's top two club trophies simultaneously? The 15 May final will decide.

The Amsterdam ArenA stages the UEFA Europa League final
The Amsterdam ArenA stages the UEFA Europa League final ©Getty Images

Chelsea FC could become the first team to hold both of UEFA's biggest club trophies simultaneously as they meet SL Benfica in the UEFA Europa League final, with the Eagles having enjoyed one of their finest hours in a past Amsterdam showpiece.

Previous meetings
• The sides met for the first time last season when Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea won 1-0 in Lisbon and 2-1 at home to eliminate Jorge Jesus's men in the quarter-finals en route to winning the UEFA Champions League.

• The lineups for the first leg at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on 27 March 2012, in which Salomon Kalou (75) scored the only goal, were:
Benfica: Artur, Pereira, Jardel, Emerson, Luisão, Javi García (Nolito 81), Bruno César (Rodrigo 69), Aimar (Matić 69), Gaitán, Witsel, Cardozo.
Chelsea: Čech, Ferreira (Bosingwa 80), Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Meireles (Lampard 68), Mata, Kalou (Sturridge 82), Torres.

• Frank Lampard's penalty (21) and a late Raul Meireles effort (90+2) eclipsed Javi García's strike (85) in the return fixture at Stamford Bridge on 4 April, with Benfica's Maxi Pereira shown a second yellow card after 40 minutes. The teams were:
Chelsea: Čech, Ivanović, Terry (Cahill 60), Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Mikel, Mata (Meireles 79), Kalou, Torres (Drogba 88).
Benfica: Artur, Pereira, Emerson, Javi García, Capdevila, Bruno César (Rodrigo 72), Matić, Witsel, Aimar, Gaitán (Djaló 61), Cardozo (Nélson Oliveira 57).

Final pedigree
• This will be Benfica's ninth major UEFA final and Chelsea's fifth, though the Blues are ahead 3-2 when it comes to trophies. Moreover, Benfica are on a run of six straight final defeats since lifting the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1962 – and it is their first European decider in 23 years.

• Benfica's finals are:
1989/90 European Champion Clubs' Cup: lost 1-0 v AC Milan
1987/88 European Champion Clubs' Cup: lost 6-5 on pens v PSV Eindhoven (0-0 aet)
1982/83 UEFA Cup: lost 2-1 v RSC Anderlecht (agg)
1967/68 European Champion Clubs' Cup: lost 4-1 v Manchester United FC (aet)
1964/65 European Champion Clubs' Cup: lost 1-0 v FC Internazionale Milano
1962/63 European Champion Clubs' Cup: lost 2-1 v AC Milan
1961/62 European Champion Clubs' Cup: won 5-3 v Real Madrid CF
1960/61 European Champion Clubs' Cup: won 3-2 v FC Barcelona

• Chelsea's previous finals are:
2011/12 UEFA Champions League: won 4-3 on pens v FC Bayern München (1-1 aet)
2007/08 UEFA Champions League: lost 6-5 on pens v Manchester United FC (1-1 aet)
1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: won 1-0 v VfB Stuttgart
1970/71 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: won 2-1 v Real Madrid CF (replay after 1-1 draw)

Amsterdam connections
• Benfica's first game in Amsterdam ended with them collecting the European Cup; they beat Real Madrid 5-3 at the old Olympisch Stadium in the 1962 final, despite a Ferenc Puskás hat-trick, with two Eusébio goals proving key.

• They later played two more matches against AFC Ajax at the Olympisch, winning 3-1 in the 1968/69 European Cup quarter-finals, but losing 1-0 on their most recent visit, in the 1971/72 semi-finals.

• This is Chelsea's first UEFA fixture in Amsterdam. They appeared at the Olympisch in the 1968 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – the non-UEFA affiliated precursor to the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League – drawing 0-0 with AFC Door Wilskracht Sterk (more widely known as DWS).

• Benfica's Ola John and Chelsea's Nathan Aké are the only Dutch nationals left in the competition. Liberia-born winger John joined Benfica from FC Twente in 2012. While playing for the Tukkers, he featured in two games at the Amsterdam ArenA – Twente beat Ajax 2-1 in the pre-season Johann Cruyff Shield in July 2011, then drew 1-1 in the Eredivisie that September. Defender Aké moved to Chelsea in 2011 from Feyenoord, where he had played since he was 12.

• Lampard has played at the Amsterdam ArenA three times in England friendlies against the Netherlands (1-1 in 2002, 1-1 in 2006 and 2-2 in 2009), with Chelsea team-mates Ashley Cole and John Terry figuring in the two most recent encounters.

• Chelsea's Petr Čech was in the Czech Republic team that lost 2-0 to the Netherlands in Amsterdam in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in September 2004.

• Chelsea manager Rafael Benítez visited the Amsterdam ArenA with Valencia CF, his side drawing 1-1 in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League second group stage; Benfica's Pablo Aimar was among Benítez's starting XI.

• Notable Dutch players who represented Chelsea include goalkeeper Ed de Goey, defenders Ken Monkou, Winston Bogarde and Mario Melchiot, and forwards Ruud Gullit, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Arjen Robben

Match background
• Benfica's record in 31 games against English clubs in European competition is W10 D5 L16. They have already beaten Premier League opponents in this season's UEFA Europa League, eliminating Newcastle United FC in the quarter-finals.

• Óscar Cardozo has scored in six of Benfica's last ten matches against English teams, registering eight goals in total.

• Chelsea's record in eight games against Portuguese clubs (two against Benfica, six versus FC Porto) in European competition is W6 D1 L1. They are currently on a five-match winning streak against Liga sides, though all those victories have been by single-goal margins.

• Chelsea come into the final having won four of their last five UEFA Europa League outings, while Benfica have lost just one of their last 11 continental fixtures. Indeed that defeat – 1-0 at Fenerbahçe SK in the semi-final first leg – was their first reverse in 38 competitive matches, stretching back to a 2-1 loss at FC Spartak Moskva in the UEFA Champions League on 23 October 2012.

Team facts
• Benfica go into the final having played exactly twice as many UEFA games as their rivals: 362 to Chelsea's 181. Their last goal against Fenerbahçe in the semi-final decider was the Eagles' 600th in UEFA competition.

• Chelsea have scored 31 goals since the start of this season's UEFA Champions League group stage – 16 in the UEFA Champions League, 15 in the UEFA Europa League. In the same period, Benfica have scored 19 (five UEFA Champions League, 14 UEFA Europa League), but have conceded 12 goals to the Blues' 19.

• Chelsea could become the first team to win UEFA's top two club competitions in reverse order in successive campaigns. Should they prevail, they will be the first side to be holders of both trophies simultaneously (until the UEFA Champions League final).

• They could also become only the fourth team to lift all three of UEFA's major club trophies, after Juventus, AFC Ajax and FC Bayern München. Chelsea won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970/71 and 1997/98, and the UEFA Champions League last year.

Player facts
• Argentina forward Eduardo Salvio's appearance for Benfica in Istanbul was his 32nd in the UEFA Europa League – a tournament record. He has now played 20 times for Atlético and 13 for Benfica.

• More significantly, he could become the first player to win this competition for a third time in its current incarnation, having featured as a substitute in the 2010 and 2012 finals for Atlético.

• Čech, Oscar and Fernando Torres are the only players to have figured in all 14 of Chelsea's European matches this term. Torres is the leading scorer with eight goals – three in the UEFA Champions League, five in the UEFA Europa League.

• Goalkeeper Artur has been Benfica's sole ever-present in Europe, while Cardozo is their top marksman, also with eight goals (two UEFA Champions League, six UEFA Europa League).

• Cardozo is up to equal third in the UEFA Europa League goalscorers' chart for the campaign, two strikes adrift of S.S. Lazio's Libor Kozák. Torres is a further goal behind, one of three players with five.

• Benfica's Aimar played under Chelsea interim boss Benítez at Valencia, landing two Spanish titles and the 2003/04 UEFA Cup together.

• Chelsea's Brazil defender David Luiz made his name with Benfica from 2007–11, picking up the 2009/10 Liga title before transferring to Stamford Bridge in January 2011.

• Chelsea midfielder Ramires also helped Benfica to that 2009/10 championship before heading to London in August 2010.

• Benfica's Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matić was a Chelsea player from 2009–11, though he spent a season on loan at Vitesse in the Netherlands and made just two Premier League appearances before switching to Lisbon. He and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanović are international team-mates.

The coaches
• Benítez oversaw four games against Benfica while Liverpool FC manager, with the record W1 D0 L3. His side lost 1-0 away and 2-0 at home in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League round of 16, but avenged that exit with a 5-3 aggregate success in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals – they prevailed 4-1 at Anfield then went down 2-1 in Lisbon. Fernando Torres scored twice in that second leg.

• Benítez has coached in 138 UEFA matches to Jorge Jesus's 74. However, the Benfica boss has the edge – just – in terms of UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League fixtures, with 39 to Benítez's 38.

• Having won the competition with Valencia in 2003/04, Benítez could become the second coach – after three-time champion Giovanni Trapattoni – to lift the trophy with more than one club. Two other coaches – Luis Molowny (Real Madrid, 1985 and 1986) and Juande Ramos (Sevilla FC, 2006 and 2007) have won the competition twice.

• Jorge Jesus has never visited Amsterdam as a coach but has yet to lose on Dutch soil. He led SC Braga to a 2-1 victory at sc Heerenveen while his Benfica team recorded 2-2 draws at PSV and Twente.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Benfica's shoot-out record in UEFA competition is W1 L1:
W 4-1 (home) v PAOK FC, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round
L 5-6 (neutral) v PSV Eindhoven, 1987/88 European Cup final

• Chelsea's UEFA shoot-out record reads W1 L2:
W 4-3 (neutral) v FC Bayern München, 2011/12 UEFA Champions League final
L 5-6 (neutral) v Manchester United FC, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League final
L 1-4 (away) v Liverpool FC, 2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-final

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