Portugal’s SL Benfica, a two-time European Cup winner in the early 1960s, looks to get back on the winning track Wednesday in UEFA Champions League Group C play against German side Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Benfica lost to FC Zenit 2-0 on Sept. 17. Leverkusen was also a loser in the first match of group play, falling 1-0 to AS Monaco on Sept. 17.
Benfica will be without goalkeeper Artur, who was suspended for drawing a red card in the opening match. Leverkusen will likely not have midfielder Gonzalo Castro, who is doubtful to play due to injury.
Last year, Leverkusen reached the round of 16 before being eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 on aggregate. Benfica didn’t get out of the group stage last year, ultimately losing a tiebreaker to Olympiacos FC that saw the Greek side go through to the knockout stage.
How to watch
Match time: 2:45 p.m. ET
Live stream: You can watch the match online here.
TV coverage: DirecTV, Fox Soccer Plus
Benfica has won each of the two knockout ties with Leverkusen, a UEFA Europa League round of 32 encounter in 2013 and in the quarterfinals of the 1994 European Cup Winners Cup.
Benfica, the Portuguese champions—are in their 10th group stage campaign in the Champions League.
They have qualified for the knockout stage just once in their last six campaigns.
Benfica is 12-14-12 in 38 games against German clubs, including a 2-12-6 mark in Germany.
Benfica is 4-0-1 in their last five European road matches.
Leverkusen reached their ninth group stage campaign with a 7-2 aggregate win over OC Kobenhavn in the playoff round.
Leverkusen was the 2001-02 Champions League runners-up.
Bayer finished their home slate in group play last year with a 5-0 loss to Manchester United before losing 4-0 to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Werkself is 4-5-3 in 12 matches against Portuguese sides, including a 3-2-1 mark at home.
Omer Toprak has missed Leverkusen’s last two games with a calf injury but is not on the injury report for this match.