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

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIDecember 4, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 01:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the warm up prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club at Camp Nou on December 1, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona hosts Benfica for their final group match of the Champions League and Bleacher Report is bringing you a preview of the match.

The Spanish club has already qualified for the next stage while Benfica fights it out with Celtic for the remaining spot.

As long as the Portuguese club matches Celtics result against Spartak, they should go through.

It certainly won't be easy, though, as Barcelona won the last meeting 2-0 and Celtic have already beaten Spartak away from home (via

Here is the preview for tomorrow's Champions League clash.


Barcelona Team News

Tito Vilanova has chosen to rest six of his usual starters for this Champions League tie (via

This game will likely mark a chance for Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique to resume their defensive partnership as they have both been selected.

One other key name on the team sheet is that of Lionel Messi. The diminutive Argentine will get his first chance to tie Gerd Muller's long-standing record if he scores a goal on the night.


Benfica Team News

Gerard Pique is reportedly wary of Benfica's attacking threat and with reason (See his comments here on

The Portuguese side has scored 25 goals in 10 league games to stand tied for first position with FC Porto (statistics courtesy of ESPN Soccernet).

While they haven't been able to translate that into their European games so far, with only five goals in five games, the attacking threat is there (stats courtesy of


Barcelona Projected Lineup (4-3-3)

Pinto; Montoya, Pique, Puyol, Adriano; Song, Thiago, Sergi Roberto; Tello, Messi, Villa


Benfica Projected Lineup (4-4-2)

Artur; Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Melgarejo; Salvio, Matic, Perez, Gaitan; Lima, Cardozo