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Youth League final preview: Benfica v Salzburg

A new name will be added to the UEFA Youth League roll of honour when Benfica take on Salzburg in Monday's sold-out final at Colovray Stadium in Nyon.

The jerseys of the finalists stand either side of the Lennart Johansson Trophy
The jerseys of the finalists stand either side of the Lennart Johansson Trophy ©Sportsfile
  • Benfica, runners-up in 2014, play Salzburg in the fourth UEFA Youth League final
  • Both sides are aiming to join Barcelona and Chelsea on the competition's list of winners
  • Benfica overcame Midtjylland and PSV Eindhoven on penalties en route to Nyon
  • Unbeaten Salzburg have defeated Manchester City, Paris, Atlético and Barcelona
  • Salzburg left-back Gideon Mensah is available after being suspended for the semi-finals

Where to watch
Fans can find their local UEFA Youth League broadcast partner(s) here.

João Tralhão, Benfica coach
Salzburg have quality players and it will be very hard to beat them. They are strong in all areas and their build-up play is particularly good, as is their finishing. They were very competent as a team against Barcelona. Barcelona are a top side at this age, but on the balance of play Salzburg deserved to win.

Semi-final highlights: Real Madrid 2-4 Benfica

We've had to overcome a lot of hurdles to get this far. This year was the first time we did not win our group. Our play-off [against Midtjylland] was difficult. We won on penalties in snowy conditions and after that we started to believe we could go all the way to the end. We then showed in the quarter-finals [versus CSKA Moskva] that we can play against any team and win.

Marco Rose, Salzburg coach
They're physically very strong and have two big centre-backs. It's going to be a different game to the one against Barcelona. Benfica are a little bit more direct. They transition faster from deeper areas, and so we'll have to adapt in a couple of ways. Then we'll have a chance. We always want to win the ball high up the field.

Semi-final highlights: Barcelona 1-2 Salzburg

It's been a really exciting tournament for us. We had to go to Kazakhstan and Macedonia, then we deservedly knocked Manchester City out on penalties. We've got better and better with each round. Perhaps we've even slightly surprised ourselves at times, even though we always knew how good we were. Being here in the final four is the icing on the cake.

Reporter's view: Wayne Harrison
What struck me watching Salzburg's semi-final against Barcelona was how they pressed their opponents, particularly in the second half as they sought an equaliser. This energetic Austrian side are unbeaten in the UEFA Youth League this season and have scored a competition-high 27 goals, conceding only four.

Benfica's stats are less spectacular and while they were on the back foot for long periods after going 3-0 up against Real Madrid on Friday, eventually prevailing 4-2, they found a way to get the job done. That, and the fact they have survived two shoot-outs in earlier rounds, points to this perhaps being their year.  

Did you know?
João Tralhão has presided over all 36 of Benfica's UEFA Youth League fixtures, the most notable of them a 3-0 loss to Barcelona in the inaugural final in 2014. 

Benfica and Salzburg take on the UEFA Youth League skills challenge