By Brad Smith
As Chelsea prepare to face Benfica tonight in their second-leg clash, all the signs are pointing towards a win for the home side, especially after their crucial 1-0 victory at the Estadio Da Luz in the first-leg.
However, Benfica have scored in 16 of their last 18 European games, meaning Chelsea may have a hard time stopping that away goal being cancelled out.
Though, with the Blues only conceding one goal at home in Europe this season, and scoring 14 in those four games, it seems an almost impossible challenge for the Portuguese side.
Goals are no problem for the home side, having put four past Aston Villa on the weekend, with Fernando Torres scoring and setting up two, as well as having Didier Drogba who has scored five in five this season in the Champions League.
Benfica played Braga in the run-up to this tie, needing an injury time goal from Bruno Cesar to take the three points. Though one man to watch out for is Nicolas Gaitan, who has created the most goals in the competition this season.
Should Chelsea not falter, and progress, they will face the painstaking task of last years Champions, the world-elite of Barcelona, who overcame Milan last night with a 3-1 victory.
If the scoreline was an unwelcome obstacle for Benfica, they might also have to challenge without captain Luisao, who is doubtful with a knee injury, while Miguel Vitor, Ezequiel Garay, and Jardel, have not travelled to London with the squad due to injuries.
Roberto Di Matteo has revitalised his squad, and should progress tonight, as long as they keep their cool, and John Terry can silence to dangerous Cardozo early on. Im backing Chelsea to win, and keep up their excellent defensive form.
Chelsea to win – 8/11 – 11 points
Chelsea to win to nil – 2/1 – 5 points
Drogba to score – 6/5 – 5 points
Torres to score – 6/5 – 5 points
Prediction: Chelsea 2 – 0 Benfica
You can catch the game live on ITV1 from 1945 GMT.
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