Champions League: Benfica bid to secure second place with win over Barcelona
Last Updated: 05/12/12 11:00pm
Lionel Messi: Barcelona forward is aiming to create history on Wednesday
Benfica will aim to qualify for the Champions League last 16 with victory over Barcelona at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
The Portuguese giants will head into the final Group G fixture aiming for maximum points that will ascertain their place in the next round.
Jorge Jesus' side are currently second in the group on seven points, level with third-place Celtic but with a superior head-to-head record, meaning that if they at least equal Celtic's result against Spartak Moscow, then they will progress to the knockout rounds.
Benfica's cause will be helped by the fact that Barca have already qualified as group winners and will field an essentially second-string team.
Lionel Messi has been included in the Blaugrana squad, as the Argentine forward is just one goal short of equalling Gerd Muller's 1972 record of 85 goals in a calendar year.
However, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Andres Iniesta , Cesc Fabregas and Pedro Rodriguez all have been rested. While Barca B team players Sergi Gomez, Carles Planas, Sergi Roberto, Rafinha, Gerard Deulofeu and Cristian Tello have been included in the 18-man squad.
Benfica, though, have injury worries, as Eduardo Salvio, Enzo Perez, Carlos Martins and Pablo Aimar all sit out the Camp Nou clash.
Oscar Cardozo and Lima are expected to be the two players up front for the visitors, while Luisao will make only his second appearance in the Champions League this season.
History is also against the Portuguese giants as the Eagles have not won against a Spanish team since 1982.
To make matters worse, Barcelona have won all 10 of their last fixtures against Portuguese clubs at home.
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UEFA Champions League
Wed 5th Dec - Group E
Shak Donetsk0 - 1Juventus
Chelsea6 - 1Nordsjaelland
Wed 5th Dec - Group F
Lille0 - 1Valencia
Bay Munich4 - 1BATE Borisov
Wed 5th Dec - Group G
Barcelona0 - 0Benfica
Celtic2 - 1Spartak Mos
Wed 5th Dec - Group H
Man Utd0 - 1Cluj
Braga1 - 2Galatasaray
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H