Benfica will now be without one of their most important players against Liverpool tomorrow. Jurgen Klopp was worried about the star.
Jurgen Klopp delivered his pre-match press conference on Tuesday and he picked out a few threats in the Benfica team. Darwin Nunez was one of them, of course, with two other players catching his eye.
“They play football and if you don’t defend [Julian] Weigl then you have a problem as well because he connects the pieces a little bit,” said Klopp. “So, there is a lot to do. [They have] speed with Rafa [Silva] and there are so many things we knew before, but then you see it on the pitch and it is really impressive.”
Well, in a blow to Benfica, the Portuguese giants confirmed that Rafa Silva won’t feature at Anfield (per A Bola). He’s injured and that’ll keep him out of the fixture – something that certainly benefits Liverpool.
Liverpool vs Benfica
Liverpool go into this one with a 3-1 lead, of course, meaning the visitors need to score twice. Doing that without Rafa is a very, very big ask.
He’s their second top scorer behind Nunez, scoring nine goals across the Primeira Liga and Champions League. What really hurts them, though, is that Rafa is their primary creator with 17 assists in those competitions. No one else in their squad boasts more than five.
Now Benfica need to go to Anfield and somehow create two goals without him. They’ve got to do that without conceding, too – it feels like an almost impossible situation.
The advantage is well and truly Liverpool’s, then. The Reds now only hold that two-goal lead at home but will face a team lacking in creativity. Anything short of progression would be a disaster at this point.