CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LIVE: Benfica v Chelsea – the action from the Estadio da Luz as it happens
18:51 GMT, 27 March 2012
Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Champions League as Chelsea travel to Benfica for the first leg of their quarter-final. The Blues are the last British side left in Europe and will be buoyed after their dramatic win over Napoli in the previous round.
Let me know what you think about the matches via Twitter @DMworldfootball
Benfica: Artur Moraes, Maxi Pereira, Luisao, Jardel, Emerson, Aimar, Javi Garcia, Bruno Cesar, Witsel, Gaitan, Cardozo. Subs: Eduardo, Nolito, Nelson Oliveira, Rodrigo Moreno, Matic, Miguel Vitor, Saviola.
Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Meireles, Mata, Mikel, Kalou, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Lampard, Drogba, Bosingwa, Sturridge, Cahill.
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (Italy)
19.49 From the most recent of those free-kicks, Jardel sneaks clear at the back post and directs a side-foot volley back across goal. None of his team-mates appear even remotely interested, though.
19.48 Bold start from Chelsea. It is they who launch the first attack through Kalou – although it comes to nothing – and there is plenty of energy about the way in which they are closing down the spaces all over the pitch. A couple of free-kicks given already.
19.45 And we are underway….
19.43 A an interesting note from out friends at @Infostradalive. They say this is only the third time in Champions League history that a team fields two more players from the country of the club they were facing.
It happened in 2006 when Jonathan Woodgate and David Beckham played against an Arsenal team without any English players, and in 2009 when Liverpool started five Spanish players against Real Madrid's three.
19.40 In his final interview before the match, Roberto di Matteo has admitted an away goal is his sole target tonight. I hardly radiated confidence, and the curious team selection seems to bear that out.
He said: 'I wanted to freshen up my team because I'm expecting a hi-tempo game. I've picked some of the players who know the atmosphere here and are familiar with the club.'
19.35 My favourite stat of the night comes from Cypus, where the Real Madrid captain and goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, is making his 119th Champions League game, one more than the entire APOEL team put together.
19.30 Oscar Cardozo singled out by Roberto di Matteo in his pre-match interview as the one to watch – hardly surprising considering his four goals in the competition.
He doesn't, though, mention Pablo Aimar, who scored at Old Trafford. The world's best player, Lionel Messi, has had his say, though.
He says: 'Aimar was, and is, my idol. I really like to watch him play and I have followed his career since the beginning at River Plate.'
19.20 Have to say the Chelsea team looks flimsy, and while Jose Boswingwa has been hopeless this season, it seems nonsensical to field someone with such little football under his belt like Ferreira, himself hardly impressive for a number of years now. Branislav Ivanovic is, of course, out injured with a thigh strain.
Up front, too, why Torres Drogba was the catalyst for that stunning comeback against Napoli and has four goals in four Champions League games this season. The Spaniard who replaces him has managed just two in 10, and they were both Genk.
19.15 Elsewhere in Europe, that sole representative of Cyprus are taking on the mighty Real Madrid. The Spanish giants have twice played on the island, and boast an aggregate score of 14-0, beating Apollon Limassol 6-0 in 1968, and Olympiakos Nikosia 8-0 in 1969.
APOEL: Chiotis, Poursaitides, Marcelo Oliveira, Paulo Jorge, Boaventura, Morais, Pinto, Charalambidis, Trickovski, Alexandrou, Almeida. Subs: Urko, Kaka, Solari, Adorno, Helder Sousa, Solomou, Marcinho.
Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao, Khedira, Sahin, Benzema, Ozil, Ronaldo, Higuain. Subs: Adan, Kaka, Granero, Marcelo, Altintop, Albiol, Varane.
Anticipation: APOEL supporters cheer their team ahead of the clash with Real Madrid
19.10 The big news from Portugal is that Fernando Torres is handed a start ahead of Didier Drogba, with the Ivorian joined on the bench by Michael Essien and Frank Lampard, among others.
David Luiz and Ramires both make their first appearances against the club they left for Stamford Bridge, while Salomon Kalou makes his first start in the Champions League this season. Paulo Ferreira, meanwhile, is making only his third start of the season.
19.00 So here we are, last man standing. Who would have thought that only one English team would remain in the Champions League come the quarter-finals The same amount as Cyprus, no less.
But Chelsea are here, flying the flag after the most unlikely of comebacks against Italian side Napoli in the last round. Tonight they face Benfica, who took four points of Manchester United in the group stage, winning here at the Estadio da Luz.
Benfica team news: Artur Moraes, Maxi Pereira, Luisao, Jardel, Emerson, Aimar, Javi Garcia, Bruno Cesar, Witsel, Gaitan, Cardozo. Subs: Eduardo, Nolito, Nelson Oliveira, Rodrigo Moreno, Matic, Miguel Vitor, Saviola.
Chelsea team news: Cech, Ferreira, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Meireles, Mata, Mikel, Kalou, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Lampard, Drogba, Bosingwa, Sturridge, Cahill.
Ready to go: Experienced striker Didier Drogba will hope to lead Chelsea's attack