Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
After Saturdayֳ El Clasico defeat Рtheir first loss in all competitions since October РBarcelona will be eyeing an immediate recovery in their quest for a sixth European title. Always favourites on home soil, they have already scored 12 goals in four Champions League encounters at Camp Nou this season Рwhich is more than Atletico Madrid have mustered overall in Europe during 2015/16.
INJURY NEWS: Aleix Vidal is a fresh concern after sustaining an adductor injury earlier this week and will miss tonightֳ game, although he is only expected to miss around seven days. Sandro Ramirez is still sidelined with a quadriceps problem while Adriano and Jeremy Mathieu are absent with a hamstring and a knee ligament injury respectively.
Currently sitting six points behind their La Liga-leading opponents in domestic competition, Atletico havenִ managed to beat Barcelona Рin the league or Europe Рsince their 1-0 Champions League victory back in April 2014. However, Diego Simeoneֳ side have only conceded three goals during their European campaign so far and have kept 14 clean sheets on the road overall. Tonightֳ battle will, therefore, be a classic case of strong offence versus strong defence.
INJURY NEWS: Atleti trio Diego Godin (hamstring), Stefan Savic (toe) and Yannick Carrasco (ankle) all returned to training this week and are expected to hand Simeone a boost ahead of tonightֳ clash, but Jose Gimenez is still missing with a hamstring problem, as are Oliver Torres (groin) and long-term absentee Tiago Mendes (leg)
Bayern Munich v Benfica
Before their back-to-back league victories over Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt either side of the international break, Munichֳ recent form had been somewhat mixed, losing to Mainz and requiring extra time in the second leg of their last 16 tie with Juventus. However, they are unbeaten at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League season and manager Pep Guardiola will be determined not to slip up at this stage as he aims to win the clubֳ sixth European title before he departs to Manchester City.
INJURY NEWS: Arjen Robben is Bayernֳ main concern as the Dutchman is forced to miss out with an adductor injury, while Medhi Benatia is doubtful due to a thigh complaint. Jerome Boateng is still out with a groin problem, along with Holger Badstuber, who continues to recover from a broken ankle, but Kingsley Coman will be ready to return after a muscle injury.
In contrast, Benfica enter the game on the back of an eight-game winning streak and fresh from beating Braga 5-1 on Friday. They֬l be aware of their underdog status going into the first leg of the tie and, with the pressure on Munich to strike first on home territory, will aim to use this along with their soaring confidence to their advantage. Interestingly, Benfica have never beaten Munich in four meetings Рalthough the last came in 1981.
INJURY NEWS: Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who hasnִ featured for a month, remains unavailable with a thigh issue, while Luisao is still out after breaking his arm in November. Lisandro Lopez (thigh) is a doubt along with Nuno Santos (knee).