Chelsea Vs. Benfica, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Blues All But Through

Salomon Kalou of Chelsea is closed down by Bruno Cesar of Benfica during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Benfica and Chelsea at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Benfica needs a miracle to advance past Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Benfica are only down one goal to Chelsea, but it's rare that teams lose at home in the first leg of a UEFA Champions League knockout tie, then go on to the next round. While Benfica created plenty of shots against Chelsea in the first leg, they didn't create much in the way of clear-cut goal scoring chances in their 1-0 loss at Estadio da Luz.

Chelsea are unlikely to have either Didier Drogba or David Luiz available for the return leg at Stamford Bridge. Both suffered injuries over the weekend, Raul Meireles, who started in the first leg, has a minor knee injury and could miss out. Otherwise, Chelsea have a clean bill of health, leaving Roberto Di Matteo with plenty of options.

Benfica and Jorge Jesus have less options. One of their starting central defenders and both of their top backups, Ezequiel Garay, Miguel Vitor and Jardel, will both miss out through injury. Javi Garcia could move back to central defense from midfield to account for those issues. Benfica are completely fit in midfield and attack, but those three defensive absences will be hard to overcome.

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, April 4, 2:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. local

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, England

TV: FOX Soccer Channel (USA), Sportsnet World (Canada), ITV 1 (UK)

We'll have live coverage of the game in our UEFA Champions League Wednesday StoryStream. For more on the Blues, head over to Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.