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Why Juventus face a must win Champions League trip to Benfica

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri. | PHOTO: Courtesy |
  • The UEFA Champions League matchweek five is set to be played between Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 October 2022
  • Juventus in Group H make a must win trip to Portugal to face in form Benfica who are yet to lose
  • Should Juve lose the match, they will automatically be dropped to the UEFA Europa League

Benfica could send Juventus out of the UEFA Champions League, while Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are among the other clubs who can seal a round-of-16 spot on Tuesday should they win.

Juventus must defeat Benfica to have any chance from qualifying from Group H, while a victory will be enough to see the home side through. They can also advance with a point if Maccabi Haifa are unable to beat PSG.

The Parisians on their side will qualify with a victory at the Parc des Princes or if they draw and Juve fail to win in Lisbon.

Chelsea make a trip to Salzburg as the Group E leaders and are guaranteed to progress if they win, while the Austrian side also remain in the hunt to qualify. The Premier League outfit can also go through if they draw and third-placed Milan defeat Dinamo Zagreb, who are bottom but only three points behind the leaders.

Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund will be keen to join Manchester City in getting out of Group G if they secure a home win over Pep Guardiola’s side, who could win the pool with a game to spare. Real Madrid are in a similar situation to City, while RB Leipzig bid to join the holders in the knockout stage.

Ahead of another tense night of action, Stats Perform picks out the standout Opta numbers for the eight matches.

Benfica v Juventus

Juventus has lost all three of their European matches away at Benfica, with their most recent loss a 2-1 Europa League defeat in 2014.

The Serie A giants only have one victory home or away in the seven previous meetings between the two famous clubs, in a 3-0 UEFA Cup clash in 1993.

Benfica could qualify for the knockout stage for a second consecutive season, a back-to-back feat they have only previously achieved in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons under Rui Vitoria.

Juve could be eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since the 2013-14 season, when Antonio Conte was in charge.

Juventus 1-2 Benfica:

Benfica defeated Juventus 2-1 at Turin in the reverse fixture of this match and Juve would look to revenge that. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Maccabi Haifa

Maccabi Haifa are yet to win in three away European games (including qualifiers) in France, losing two and drawing in a Cup Winners’ Cup tie at PSG back in 1998.

PSG have only lost one of their past 32 group stage games at the Parc des Princes in the Champions League (W25 D6), with their lone defeat during that run coming against Manchester United in October 2020 (1-2). They have averaged 2.7 goals per game in those fixtures, scoring 86.

Since Kylian Mbappe’s Champions League debut in September 2016, only Robert Lewandowski has been directly involved in more non-penalty goals (55) than the France forward (54 – 34 goals, 20 assists).

Omer Atzili has scored twice for Maccabi in the Champions League this season. The last Israeli player to net more in a single campaign in the competition was Eran Zahav, who scored three for Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2010-11.

Salzburg v Chelsea 

Chelsea have only played two away European matches in Austria, losing 1-0 at Weiner Sport-Club in November 1965 in the Fairs Cup and drawing 1-1 against Austria Vienna in November 1994 in the Cup Winners’ Cup.

Salzburg are winless in all seven of their European matches against English teams (D2 L5), failing to beat Blackburn Rovers (D1 L1), Manchester City (L2), Liverpool (L2) and Chelsea (D1).

In-form Chelsea have won back-to-back Champions League matches, beating Milan 3-0 at Stamford Bridge and 2-0 in Milan. The last time the Blues won three games in a row in the competition by a margin of at least two goals was in October-November 2013.

Chelsea 1-1 RB Salzburg

Chelsea and Salzburg played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

Salzburg have scored exactly one goal in each of their past seven games in the Champions League – only one team have ever had a longer run of scoring a single goal in the competition, with Olympiacos doing so in 10 in a row in a run ending in November 2005.

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City

No player has more goal involvements than City’s Erling Haaland (five goals) or Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham (four goals, one assist) during the group stage this season.

Dortmund have won just one of their five Champions League matches against City (D1 L3), a 1-0 home victory in the 2012-13 group stage.

No full-back has been involved in more sequences of play that have ended in shots (29) or goals (five) thans Joao Cancelo in the Champions League this season. The Portugal international has provided three assists in four games, equalling his season-best tally in a Champions League campaign (three in nine games last season).

If Haaland scores on his return to face his former club, it will be the third time he has scored in five or more consecutive appearances in the Champions League. Only five players have achieved that feat on three occasions – Cristiano Ronaldo (five), Lionel Messi (three), Lewandowski (three), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (three) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (three).

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