Home » Champ League, Latest » CL Match Preview: Chelsea vs Benfica

A mouth-watering semi-final against Barcelona awaits for Chelsea if they can finish what they started in Portugal and secure victory over Benfica.

The Blues produced an impressive away performance in last week’s quarter-final first leg at Estadio da Luz to win 1-0 thanks to a Salomon Kalou strike 15 minutes from time.

The away goal put Chelsea firmly in control at the halfway point of the tie and kept their bid for an elusive UEFA Champions League trophy firmly on track.

Having been made to work hard to get out of the group stage and then come back from the brink against Napoli in the round of 16, a clash with defending champions Barca in the last four now looms large on the horizon.

Roberto Di Matteo has warned his players not to take anything for granted against Benfica, though, and focus on completing the job at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

“It is a danger. This is half-time and we’re leading 1-0. But a 1-0 lead is basically nothing,” said Di Matteo.

“Our players are aware of this, and we’ll have to go into this game with the right attitude, the same attitude as against Napoli.”

Di Matteo has earned rave reviews since taking charge on an interim basis and saw his team pick up another victory over the weekend as Aston Villa were beaten 4-2 in the Premier League.

David Luiz failed to finish the game at Villa due to an ankle problem but has recovered quickly and is in contention to face Benfica.

Didier Drogba (foot) and Raul Meireles (knee) had also been injury doubts but trained on Tuesday to give Di Matteo plenty of selection options.

The Italian manager decided to ring the changes for the first leg, leaving the likes of Drogba, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien on the substitutes’ bench and picking players with experience of Portuguese football such as Paulo Ferreira and Raul Meireles.

The tactic worked as Benfica endured a night of frustration, but Jorge Jesus remains confident that his side can overturn the one-goal deficit and progress to the semi-finals.

Jesus does not think the Blues deserve to be leading after the first leg and has no intention of changing his game plan for the return game in London.

He said: “Chelsea obviously have the upper hand, but we are going to approach this game in the same manner as we would have if we had won the first game.

“Chelsea had quite a lot of luck in the first match, considering we dominated the match.

“We have the quality to win this game, obviously, and I’m sure that – this time round – we can turn the tables on Chelsea and do the same as they did in Lisbon.”

Jesus added: “They came out to play for a 0-0 draw and ended up getting a win.

“They’ll be dangerous from set-pieces but we need to play an offensive game and cancel out that first-leg advantage.”

Jesus could be forced to play holding midfielder Javi Garcia as a makeshift centre-half, with captain Luisao a major doubt with a knee injury.

Miguel Vitor (thigh), Ezequiel Garay (knee) and Jardel (thigh) have not travelled with the squad due to injury.

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