Game Preview: Benfica vs. Juventus - UEFA Europa League Semi Final First Leg - Thursday, 24/04/2014

UEFA Europa League - Benfica vs. Juventus - Matchup and Team Logos / Crests / BadgesThe newly crowned Portuguese Liga champions, Benfica, are hosts to the inevitable Italian Serie A champions, Juventus, in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final on Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.

Benfica are undefeated in their last twenty seven matches across all competitions. In their last seven games, including the two quarter-final matches vs. AZ Ajkmaar, Benfica scored fifteen goals and conceded none. Most recently, Benfica beat Olhanense 2-0 at home and claimed their 33rd Primeira Liga title. The team's leading scorer is Lima with 14 domestic goals and 3 Europa League goals. Last season, around this time, within a span of one week, Benfica lost their domestic league title, got knocked out of the Portuguese cup final and lost in the UEFA Europa League final. Jorge Jesus and his team rebounded well this season and have the league title already wrapped up. They can now focus their energy on the Europa League.

With four games left in the Italian Serie A season, Juventus are in first place, eight points ahead of second place AS Roma. This will be the third consecutive season that Juventus win the Scudetto. The priority for Antonio Conte's team now shifts to the Europa League, where they hope to participate in the tournament final, which will be hosted at their home stadium in Turin. Juventus won their last five games across all competitions, including a double win over Lyon in the quarter-final of the Europa League. Most recently Juve beat Bologna 1-0 at home.

The odds for the upcoming match in Lisbon are:

Benfica: 17/10
Draw: 23/10
Juventus: 15/8

To Qualify:

Benfica: 6/4
Juventus: 1/2

According to the odds, this will be a very tight match. Benfica are the favourites to win by the slightest of margins. Juventus, on the other hand, are the favourites to make the final over two legs.

The winner will play the winner of Sevilla vs. Valencia.

The kick-off is at 21.05. Enjoy the game!