UEFA Europa League Final 2013: What Benfica Must Do to Take Down Chelsea
Benfica may not bring the same skill to the pitch that Chelsea does, but this team has taken down some talented teams in the Europa League, and with a sound match they can make Chelsea their latest victims.
And a victory would be a nice bit of revenge for Benfica.
Chelsea and Benfica met in last year’s Champions League quarterfinals. Chelsea won both legs and earned a 3-1 aggregate win.
To turn the tables on that result, Benfica will have to focus on some key areas. I'll outline those below.
Slow Down Chelsea's Attack
Fernando Torres and Vincent Moses didn't play in the group stages for Chelsea, but the strikers have been busy making up for lost time.
Torres has picked up five goals in Chelsea's run and Moses has tacked on another four. This has helped Chelsea total 15 goals in their eight Europa League matches. There is no reason to think that this goal-scoring form won't continue.
Chelsea has looked good of late as they've knocked in 17 goals in their last eight matches.
Benfica's defense has been solid, and that's included their Europa League run where they've allowed just a goal a game. If they can keep that up, they stand a great chance at victory.
Take Advantage of Chelsea's Defense
Chelsea's defense has been slightly worse than Benfica's. They've allowed nine goals in eight games. That said, Chelsea's defense has shown decent form as of late.
That includes shutting out Manchester United on May 5.
This will put to test Benfica's offense, which has been in solid form. They've tacked in 14 goals in their eight Europa League games.
This included scoring three goals in their last Europa League game against Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
Oscar Cardozo has been the primary weapon in the Europa League with six goals, but this squad also has Lima, who leads them with 18 league goals.
Bring Their A Game
While Benfica has gone over 50 years without a European trophy, they will still be prone to overlooking this match.
Benfica leads the Primeira Liga, but they are locked in a tight battle. This could easily lead to the distraction of the squad focusing on their domestic title.
If this squad wants to end their long drought of European hardware, they have to approach this match like their is no tomorrow.
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