David Luiz is a key player Benfica are going to focus on in the massive European final this evening.
Benfica could do a lot worse than trying to get deep beneath the skin of David Luiz this evening, to try and mentally affect the Chelsea defender, ruffle him up and try to get themselves an advantage.
He’s a very flamboyant and aggressive character who sometimes lets his not so nice side come out and that’s exactly what Benfica will be hoping for.
They have several people who know all about him from his days playing with the club and he is one of the ways they will look to try and create an advantage for themselves.
Benfica would have done a lot of scouting on Chelsea in recent matches, which would have highlighted various areas of interest concerning the Brazilian defender which they will be looking to exploit.
It’s basically all about trying to wind him up, trying to put him off his game and essentially trying to get him sent off because that will quickly make the Portuguese team the overwhelming favourites.
What Chelsea need from David Luiz is discipline in every sense. If he plays in the back four he has to stay there, if he plays in defensive midfield then he needs to keep his cool and do a professional job.
He can be guilty of getting carried away through his own passion so all a Benfica player has to do is risk a yellow card by confronting him frequently, as they will be hoping his passion goes way over the top.
He’s a very important player for Chelsea because they use him to nullify the threat through the midfield from the opposition.
It’s a role Rafa Benitez has got him to do very effectively this season and if he can keep check on his emotions, there is no reason why he can’t end up as man of the match this evening.
Chelsea need him to set the tone. He’s talked a lot about wanting more responsibility at the club this season, well this is his chance to show that he can professionally guide Chelsea to a second European trophy in consecutive seasons.
If he gets carried away, picks up a booking and then gets sent off, Chelsea will have to work very hard throughout the game and they may not be very quick in forgiving him given the magnitude of this game.
His personality makes him a target and every single experienced member of the Chelsea dressing room should be telling him to tone it down, stick to his job and only think about how Chelsea are going to win this difficult game.
How important is he going to be?
image: © Ben Sutherland