Benfica vs. Barcelona: Champions League Preview, Team News, Projected Lineups

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIOctober 1, 2012

Benfica and Barcelona meet Tuesday in the second group game of the Champions League. Barcelona is currently top of the group after their comeback victory over Spartak Moscow at home, while Benfica played to a 0-0 draw against Celtic in their first game (via ESPN Soccernet).

While the Catalan side are certain favourites to go through to the knockout rounds, the remaining three teams will battle it out for second place. Even a tie at home against Barcelona would be a positive result for the Eagles, and they will certainly be aiming for that or better.

Both sides are undefeated in both their domestic and Champions League games thus far, and that should make for an intriguing encounter. Below is the team news and projected lineups for Benfica vs. Barcelona.

 

Benfica Team News

Benfica lost two of its best players, Javi Garcia and Axel Witsel, during the summer transfer window, but that has not stopped them from topping the Portuguese table.

The Champions League is where the club will feel the effect of losing those players even more and those players will definitely be missed against Barcelona.

Benfica will also be without defensive rock Luisao, who is banned from all competitions for two months, and Oscar Cardozo due to injury (via Goal.com).

 

Projected Lineup (4-2-3-1)

 Artur

Pereira—Jardel—Garay—Melgarejo

Perez—Matic

Salvio—Aimar—Gaitan

Rodrigo

 

Barcelona Team News

Barcelona has given their fans plenty to be excited, and worried, about in their games this season. A number of comeback victories, with the most recent one coming against Sevilla, have confirmed the club's riches in attack and problems in defense (via ESPN Soccernet).

Part of the reason for the club's defensive woes has been the injuries to Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique. Thiago Alcantara will be missing for two months but Puyol, Andres Iniesta and Adriano are all returning from injury (via Uefa.com).

 

Projected Lineup(4-3-3)

Valdes

Alves—Mascherano—Song—Alba

Xavi—Busquets—Fabregas

Pedro—Messi—Tello


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