Barca And Benfica In Iberian Battle

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Lionel Messi and Barcelona will try to take the three points in Lisbon. Image courtesy of

Portuguese powerhouse Benfica will have to bury a 30-year hoodoo if it’s to grab the three points from a Champions League date with Barcelona on Wednesday morning (AEST). Benfica hasn’t defeated a Spanish side on home soil in three decades, and it will be a battle to end that streak with Barca coming off six straight wins to start the season in La Liga.

Benfica struggled in front of goal last year in the Champions League, finding the back of the net just five times in five matches at Estádio da Luz. Regardless, their form away from home allowed them to reach the quarter-final stage before going down 3-1 on aggregate against eventual winner Chelsea. That hasn’t been a problem so far in the Primeira Liga, though, with the Eagles scoring 14 in five games, and every match has finished with more than 2.5 goals .

Barcelona lost just three out of 24 away fixtures in the Champions League during Pep Guardiola’s reign, and Tito Vilanova’s tenure in the biggest club competition in the world started well two weeks ago with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Spartak Moscow. 17 goals in six games is a great start, but they may also have half an eye on this weekend’s El Clásico fixture against great rival Real Madrid. Barca has also lost the services of midfielder Thiago Alcantara for two months after he injured his knee against Sevilla last weekend.

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