Chelsea vs. Benfica: Star Players Who Will Make the Biggest Difference

Alana NassiahCorrespondent IMay 15, 2013

If Chelsea wants to win the Europa League, Torres must step up.
If Chelsea wants to win the Europa League, Torres must step up.Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Both Chelsea and Benfica are determined to outplay each other in the UEFA Europa League Final in the Netherlands, but only one will come out on top.  

Here are the star players who will make the biggest difference for both teams.


Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres has had a successful Europa League campaign. The Spaniard has managed to get on the scoresheet five times in the eight matches played and should nab a goal or two in the final. 

Rafa Benitez will have no choice but to go with Torres at forward because Demba Ba has already played in the tournament with former club Newcastle earlier in the season and is therefore unavailable.

Torres will need to contribute as much offensively as he can. The Blues will want this victory to end their season on a positive note, as they are still fighting for a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.


Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard wants to stay at Chelsea, and most fans do not want to see him leave the club. The Englishman has a lot of game left in his tank and will be eager to impress owner Roman Abramovich in the final.

Lampard needs a new contract, and a standout game can seal the deal. 

In the six Europa matches the 34-year-old has participated in this season, he has supplied his teammates with four assists. 

The team will be looking to pile on the goals in the final but will need the midfielders to have a good match. 

The Blues will be without star player Eden Hazard, so Lampard, along with his other midfield counterparts, will have to fill in the holes.

This is, of course, contingent on Lampard playing. The player has not been a consistent starter all season. But should he get in, he can have a huge impact.


Oscar Cardozo

One of the men who Chelsea defenders will have some problems with is Oscar Cardozo. 

The forward has had a tremendous season in the Primeira Liga and is one of Benfica's top scorers. In the Europa League, the Paraguayan has tallied six goals in the six matches played. 

Benitez's men should have their hands full with the striker. He has a powerful left-footed shot but can also be lethal at free kicks.

Look for him to have a good game in the final. If Benfica takes home the trophy, Cardozo will be on the scoresheet.



Lima has had a somewhat quiet Europa campaign. The center forward has played in all six matches but only managed one goal.

However, in four of the six matches, the Brazilian came off of the bench, which is most likely the reason why he hasn't scored more goals in Europe. 

Lima is another top scorer in the Portuguese League, ratcheting up 18 goals domestically. 

Chelsea will do well to keep him under control and make sure he doesn't end the campaign on a positive note.

Benitez will be looking at his former Benfica stars David Luiz and Ramires for tips on how to get past the Portuguese side and win the Europa League Final. 

Most see this match as an easy win for Chelsea, but the Blues must not underestimate Benfica. 

Benfica has powerful forwards who can pull a game in their direction. Chelsea defenders will have their eyes on them to make sure neither of them have a great match.

If the Blues do this then they will end up with the trophy, but if they fail to keep Cardozo and Lima under control, it will be a long trip back to London.