Preview: Benfica vs. Chelsea

Benfica's Eduardo Salvio is mobbed by teammates after his equaliser against Newcastle on April 11, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Europa League final between Benfica and Chelsea in Amsterdam.

Chelsea will attempt to secure European silverware for the second successive season when they clash with Portuguese outfit Benfica in the final of the Europa League on Wednesday.

Benfica overcame the challenge of Fenerbahce in the semi-finals, losing the first leg 1-0 in Turkey before securing a 3-1 win on their own patch to book their spot in the final of the competition.

It was more comfortable for the Premier League outfit, however, with Chelsea winning 2-1 in Switzerland against Basel before securing a 3-1 victory at home in their semi-final tie.

Despite winning 23 of their 29 matches in their domestic league this season, Benfica remarkably trail leaders Porto by one point, who were victorious when the pair clashed at the weekend. It has been an impressive season for Benfica, however, losing just five times in all competitions.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have recovered from an indifferent middle part of the season to all but secure third position in the league table and a place in the Champions League next season. However, there will be a change of manager at the club with Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho odds-on to replace Rafael Benitez at the end of the campaign.

The two sides met in the Champions League quarter-finals last season, with Chelsea winning 1-0 in Portugal before claiming a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge to book a last-four spot against Barcelona.

Benfica have no fresh injury concerns from their defeat to Porto at the weekend, but Oscar Cardozo is expected to return to the side after a late appearance from the bench. Andre Almeida is expected to shake off an injury but should he fail to recover, then Roderick will be handed a place in the team.

Nemanja Matic, a reported target for Manchester United, should also start in the middle of midfield against his former club. Meanwhile, the much-coveted Nicolas Gaitan will join Eduardo Salvio and Lima in attack.

Chelsea could be without skipper John Terry, who limped out of their 2-1 win over Aston Villa at the weekend. However, the former England defender was not expected to start, with Gary Cahill and former Benfica defender David Luiz forming a pair at the heart of the defence.

Victor Moses is also pushing for a start having enjoyed a successful season in Europe, but the former Wigan Athletic winger is expected to be named on the bench with Brazilian Oscar coming into the team to form a three-pronged attack with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard.

Recent form:

Benfica: LWWDL

Chelsea: WWWDW

Possible lineups:

Benfica: Artur; Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Almeida; Matic, Perez; Gaitan, Lima, Salvio; Cardozo

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Torres

Sports Mole says: 2-2 (Chelsea to win on penalties)

Related Video
Europa League
4pm
Dynamo Moscow
vs
Panathinaikos
5pm
Krasnodar
vs
Lille
6pm
Feyenoord
vs
Sevilla
6pm
Guingamp
vs
Fiorentina
6pm
Lokeren
vs
Legia
6pm
AaB
vs
Bucuresti
6pm
Dynamo Kiev
vs
Rio Ave
6pm
Dinamo Minsk
vs
PAOK
6pm
Sparta Prague
vs
Napoli
6pm
Trabzonspor
vs
Metalist Kharkiv
6pm
Slovan Bratislava
vs
Young Boys
6pm
Rijeka
vs
Standard Liege
6pm
Wolfsburg
vs
Everton
8.05pm
FC Zurich
vs
Apollon Limassol
8.05pm
Villarreal
vs
Borussia M'bach
8.05pm
HJK
vs
Copenhagen
8.05pm
Torino
vs
Club Brugge
8.05pm
Asteras Tripolis
vs
Besiktas
8.05pm
Spurs
vs
Partizan
8.05pm
Astra
vs
Dinamo Zagreb
8.05pm
Celtic
vs
Salzburg
8.05pm
Estoril
vs
PSV
8.05pm
Inter Milan
vs
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
8.05pm
St Etienne
vs
Qarabag FK
Tables