The feelgood factor returned at Barcelona last weekend after their comfortable 3-0 win at home to Levante, in which Ansu Fati made his return and got on the scoresheet, and they will be hoping to build on that when they face Benfica at the Estadio da Luz in the Champions League on Wednesday night (20:00 BST). Ronald Koeman will be back on the touchline for this one after serving the first of a two-match ban in LaLiga Santander last Sunday. Stay with us on this live blog for all the build-up to Benfica vs Barcelona, followed by updates from the match itself.
Benfica vs Barcelona LIVE Predicted line-ups and latest updates: 0-0
This is the start of our live blog for Benfica vs Barcelona, with all our build-up coverage and minute-by-minute updates following from here. As always, the entries nearest the top are the most recent ones.
18:30 BST: Which Barcelona goal is best?
For us it is the Cesc Fabregas one, mainly down to the assist from Lionel Messi.
18:00 BST: Barcelona’s good record away at Benfica
Barcelona have not lost any of their last three games away at Benfica, winning one and drawing two. They will be hoping to continue that run tonight.
17:30 BST: Will Ansu Fati get some more minutes?
Last Sunday saw Ansu Fati make his return to action after almost 11 months out, and he marked his 15-minute cameo with an impressive goal. Barcelona’s social media team are already excited about the prospect of the 18-year-old getting more game time tonight against Benfica, although Ronald Koeman has stressed that he will be careful with his young prodigy.
17:00 BST: Benfica vs Barcelona preview
Defeat to Bayern Munich in the opening Champions League group-stage match wasn’t totally unexpected for Barcelona, although the manner of the performance was alarming, as was the disappointing attendance at the Camp Nou.
Ronald Koeman has since seen his job security called into question, although he has been given a slight reprieve from fan pressure by a domestic suspension which kept him off the touchline for the weekend victory over Levante.
The Dutch coach will be back on the bench in Lisbon on Wednesday and he’ll be hoping to return to winning ways in the Champions League.
Benfica failed to win their opening game in the Champions League either, drawing 0-0 with Dynamo Kyiv, but their domestic form has been strong with the Lisbon club winning their opening four league matches.
Barcelona have Ansu Fati back at full fitness, and the youngster could feature again off the bench after making a goalscoring return on Sunday.
Adel Taarabt’s suspension only applies to domestic matches so he is available to face Barcelona, although it’s unclear if Jorge Jesus will bring him back into the starting XI right away.
Benfica vs Barcelona: Predicted line-ups
Benfica’s predicted line-up: Odysseas Vlachodimos; Lucas Verissimo, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen; Valentino Lazaro, Julian Weigl, Joao Mario, Alex Grimaldo; Rafa Silva, Darwin Nunez, Roman Yaremchuk.
Barcelona’s predicted line-up: Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Sergino Dest; Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Philippe Coutinho; Memphis Depay, Luuk de Jong.
When does Benfica vs Barcelona start?
This Wednesday’s match between Benfica and Barcelona kicks off at 20:00 local time.
Where to watch Benfica vs Barcelona?
The Champions League clash between Benfica and Barcelona will take place at Estadio da Luz on Wednesday, September 29.
For those living in the USA, you can watch Benfica vs Barcelona on Paramount+. In the UK the match will be shown on BT Sport.