Barcelona Battle Benfica In The Champions League
Xavi’s First Champions League Game
On November 6th, Xavi was appointed as the new Barcelona manager after Ronald Koeman was sacked. Xavi is a popular figure at the Catalonian club after winning eight league titles with the club. The Spaniard also won the Champions League four times as a Barcelona player and will look to win it again as manager.
Xavi managed his first game as Barcelona manager on November 20th as his side picked up a narrow win against Espanyol. Depay’s penalty was the only goal of the game. Although the performance wasn’t perfect, they managed to pick up the three points which took the club up to 6th place on the table. Xavi will hope for a better performance against Benfica as they are a much tougher side and will capitalise on any mistakes.
Can Benfica Take The Win?
Benfica are only two points behind Barcelona in their Champions League group. This means whether or not Benfica advance is entirely in their hands. If the Portuguese side win their next two games, they will advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League. However, if they lose the match they will not be able to advance.
Benfica will head into the game coming off an impressive 6-1 win against Braga. Their manager, Jorge Jesus, has got them playing incredibly well having lost only one game all season. They currently sit 3rd in their league, just a point off the top.
The Final Week
If Barcelona don’t beat Benfica, it will go down to the final gameweek. Benfica Will face Dynamo Kyiv at home which is a fixture you’d expect them to win. Kyiv has only one point and is bottom of the group. On the other hand, Barcelona will have to travel to Germany to face Bayern Munich. This is why it is so important for Barcelona to get a result against Benfica because if they don’t, they’ll have an enormous task ahead of them facing the German giants.
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