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With his list of European admirers seemingly growing by the week, effervescent Benfica youngster Darwin Nunez was the hero of the hour for his side against Ajax to propel them into the last eight of the Champions League in Amsterdam.

After the two underdogs had played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first leg, Nunez headed home the only goal of the second leg with 13 minutes remaining to upset the odds somewhat, and the free-scoring Uruguayan could certainly command a hefty figure from interested parties this summer.

Nunez was on target once again against Sporting Braga in Friday’s Primeira Liga battle – this time off the bench – but his penalty proved inconsequential as Benfica went down 3-2 on the night, with Vitinha netting the all-important winner for the hosts.

Seeing a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end is hardly ideal preparation for a meeting with Liverpool, and Benfica have never made it past the quarter-finals of the Champions League in its current format – most recently bowing out to Bayern Munich at this stage in 2015-16.

Still, two strikes against Sporting Braga at least kept up Benfica’s strong run of scoring in every game since the turn of the year, and they have won six of their last eight Champions League games on their own turf, so Liverpool must have their wits about them lest they end up like Barcelona.

Benfica’s injury situation has remained fairly stable in recent weeks, and Verissimo was able to welcome Haris Seferovic back as a substitute in the loss to Braga on Friday night.

Fellow striker Rodrigo Pinho is still absent, though, as is Lucas Verissimo, whose season is seemingly over as he recovers from a ruptured cruciate ligament. Adel Taarabt also missed the Braga loss due to an adductor issue but has since taken part in training and will seemingly be fine for this one.

Nicolas Otamendi – one of seven Benfica players who would miss the second leg if they are booked here – and Jan Vertonghen prepare for their returns to the familiar Anfield turf, and Nunez will undoubtedly return to the first XI, most likely in place of Goncalo Ramos.

Despite Klopp initially claiming that Trent Alexander-Arnold would take “weeks” to recover from his hamstring issue, the right-back was on the bench against Watford and could be ready for his comeback at the Estadio da Luz.

Curtis Jones and Joel Matip are also expected to be passed fit despite picking up minor ankle and head knocks respectively, while Naby Keita is ready to make his comeback from a knee injury as Klopp selects from a fully-fit squad this week.

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Mohamed Salah endured a tough time of things against Hassane Kamara on Saturday, and with Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz providing fresher options from the bench, Klopp has a massive decision to make in the final third this week.

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Silva, Mario, Weigl, Everton; Nunez, Yaremchuk

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Jota, Mane, Diaz

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