Spartak Moscow vs SL Benfica Preview 04/08/2021
Vitalii Vitleo / Shutterstock.com
We have reached the third qualifying round of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League and on Wednesday the 4th of August we have a meeting between Spartak Moscow and Benfica.
The match will take place at the Otkrytiye Arena, handing the Russian club home advantage for the first leg of the tie.
🇵🇹 Lisboa ✈️ Moscovo 🇷🇺#SpartakSLB #UCL #EPluribusUnum pic.twitter.com/oqEE9efWCL
— SL Benfica (@SLBenfica) August 3, 2021
Spartak Moscow come into the match on the back of a 1-0 win at Krylya Sovetov in the Russian Premier League on the weekend. The deadlock was broken in the 60th minute via the penalty spot and was the first win of the season for Spartak Moscow.
They opened their Russian Premier League campaign with a 1-0 loss at Rubin Kazan, conceding the decisive goal just after half time.
Spartak Moscow finished second in the Russian Premier League last season which earned them a place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.
They finished 8 points adrift of the eventual champions and one point clear of the team in third place.
Spartak Moscow do not have a good recent record in the Champions League and they have failed to win any of their last 5 games in the competition.
They have picked up just one victory from their last 11 matches in the Champions League. However, they have been difficult to beat at home and Spartak Moscow undefeated in each of their last 4 home Champions League games, 3 of which have ended in a draw with under 2.5 goals scored.
Benfica have only had friendly matches to get prepared for this Champions League qualifying fixture as the Portuguese topflight has yet to begin this season.
Benfica finished third in the Primeira Liga last season, 9 points behind Sporting Lisbon who won the Portuguese title.
Benfica have played 5 friendly games in the build up to this match and have won 3 and drawn 2. They last played in this round of the Champions League last season but were eliminated from the competition by PAOK.
Benfica lost 2-1 away from home but due to the format of the tournament, it was a one-off game.
Away results in the Champions league have been poor and Benfica have lost 5 of their last 6 away trips in the competition, drawing one.
Looking ahead to the team news and Spartak Moscow will be without Pavel Maslov and Aleksandr Selikhov due to injury. Quincy Promes is a doubt but Victor Moses, Alex Kral, and Ezequiel Ponce could all feature.
Benfica travel without Darwin Nunez, who has a knee injury. Andre Almeida and Brazilian midfielder Gabriel are out for the visitors but Adel Taarabt and Julian Weigl could play in midfield, with Carlos Vinicius in attack.
We do not expect to see a huge number of goals in this game and it could finish with under 2.5 goals scored. There appears to be little to split the teams and we could see a low scoring draw, which would set things up nicely for the second leg.
1 – 1