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Real Madrid v Benfica preview

We run the rule over the sides ahead of the first of this week's UEFA Youth League quarter-finals: how they got here, key players and what happened when they met in 2014.

Hildeberto Pereira in action for Benfica in September
Hildeberto Pereira in action for Benfica in September ©Getty Images

Story so far
Real Madrid
Madrid's campaign opened impressively, with a 4-0 victory over last season's runners-up Shakhtar Donetsk, but back-to-back defeats at Malmö and Paris Saint-Germain left Santiago Solari's side with work to do. They have been irresistible ever since, winning five out of five with never less than a two-goal margin, and saw off Manchester City last time out.

Highlights: Benfica 1-1 Atlético
Highlights: Benfica 1-1 Atlético

Benfica
João Tralhão's side are the UEFA Youth League's top scorers after putting Astana (8-0) and Galatasaray (1-11) to the sword in the group stage. A last-day draw with Atlético Madrid was the only blot on their autumn copy book. The knockouts presented a harder challenge, and Benfica were pushed all the way by Czech side Příbram before edging a penalty shoot-out.

Key player
Real Madrid: Borja Mayoral
The 18-year-old has long been tipped as Madrid's next homegrown star, and this competition has seen the best of him. He has matched last season's haul of seven goals in just five games, including a beauty against City. Zinédine Zidane is a fan and brought Mayoral on for his second first-team appearance at the end of February – in the derby!

Watch Mayoral's brilliant strike
Watch Mayoral's brilliant strike

Benfica: Hildeberto Pereira
Renato Sanches is Benfica's stand-out young player, but he is already at the heart of the senior side's plans. Hildeberto Pereira, a hard-working forward with excellent pace with an goal for goal, could be the next to graduate from UEFA Youth League to the first team.

Did you know?
Benfica ran out 4-0 winners against Real Madrid in the 2014 semi-finals in Nyon. Find out all about that meeting here, including highlights.

When the sides last met ...
When the sides last met ...©Getty Images

Where to watch it
ESPN Inc – Latin America and Caribbean
nc+ – Poland
LE TV – China
beIN Sports (Mediapro) – Spain
Mediaset – Italy
OTE – Greece
Sport1 – Germany
Sport TV – Portugal
SuperSport – Sub-Saharan Africa (English)
Ten Sports – Indian subcontinent
TTNET – Turkey
Viasat – Scandinavia and Baltics
Ziggo Sport – Netherlands
UEFA.com MatchCentre and UEFA.tv channel on YouTube – everywhere else

Semi-finals (15 April, Nyon)
1 Real Madrid/Benfica v Paris Saint-Germain/Roma
2 Chelsea/Ajax v Anderlecht/Barcelona

Final (18 April, Nyon)
Winners of semi-final 1 v Winners of semi-final 2