Benfica host Juventus in the Europa League semifinal

Neither have a lost a game thus far in the Europa League. Both are considered the ‘favourites’ to win the competition but there can only be one winner when Benfica taken on Juventus on Thursday night in the semifinal of the Europa League. A match many feel ought to have been the final, the Portuguese champions have just celebrated their 33rd league title whilst the Old Lady is on the verge of celebrating her 32nd. An intriguing match between two Champions League dropouts, this isn’t simply a game between two teams but a battle between two nations in the fight for coefficient points.

The last time Juventus won the competition was in the 1992-93 season and they beat Benfica in the quarterfinals on their way to the trophy. Juventus manager Antonio Conte played both legs against the Portuguese side, suffering a loss away and then 3-0 victory at home to seal their progression and their eventual success. Now Conte is on the bench, attempting to prove that his fluid and entertaining Bianconeri side are capable of winning both in Europe as well as in Italy. But it won’t be easy.

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