Benfica will look to advance to their second straight Europa League Final after losing in last year’s against Chelsea, 2-1. Now Juventus stand in their way in today’s first of two legs as they host them in their beloved Estadio da Luz.
Over the weekend, Benfica celebrated winning the Portuguese league title for the first time since 2010 after clinching with a 2-0 victory over Olhanense. With that success and motivation in mind, they can push to defeat one of Italy and Europe’s very best sides in front of their faithful home fans. However, it will still not be easy for them as Juventus are known as one of the smartest, most patient sides in soccer with an ability to frustrate opponents that opens up gaps in the final third.
Benfica are known to play an attacking style of soccer where almost everyone is involved in the push towards and into the final third. Whether it be a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2, they know how to utilize their players in all different occasions. Coach Jorge Jesus deserves the credit for this success.
Juventus will bravely be playing a 3-5-2 where even the wide center-backs push up to join the attack, leaving their defensive midfielders pulling back to fill in their holes in case of a counter-attack. Strikers Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente have worked wonders together this season, so a goal or two from them is more than expected. They will have the utmost support from their teammates which should make their jobs a bit easier.
This will not be an easy game as both sides want this win badly. If Benfica win the tie, they make their second Europa League final in as many years. If Juventus win, they will play the final in their home stadium in Turin. Yes, this will be an exciting and unmissable tie.