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The 2 Liverpool players a yellow card away from missing Benfica’s Anfield visit

Liverpool meet Benfica tonight in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, but two players face the prospect of missing the return game should they pick up a booking.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side continue their European adventure in Lisbon, nearly 12 years on from the last time the two clubs met.

The Reds have a fully fit squad at their disposal with Trent Alexander-Arnold back up and running and Naby Keita having returned to training.

It’s a rare luxury for Klopp and one he’ll be eager to keep hold of for what is a month that sees Liverpool compete across three different competitions.

But a disciplinary record may force his hand for the second leg against the Portuguese side at Anfield, with both Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota a yellow card away from missing the next match.

Champions League regulations are that a player will be handed a one-match suspension once three yellow cards have been accumulated over the course of the tournament.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 2, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Both Mane and Jota picked up a yellow card during the visit of Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan, and another at Benfica tonight will keep them out of contention at Anfield next week.

After coming off the bench for the final 21 minutes against Watford, Mane is expected to feature against the Portuguese side and will need to avoid the attention of referee Jesus Gil Manzano.

The Liverpool duo are not the only ones walking a tight rope, however, as Benfica have seven players who are a single caution away from suspension.

That includes Nicolas Otamendi, Joao Mario, Alejandro Grimaldo, Julian Weigl, Roman Yaremchuk, Rafa Silva and Goncalo Ramos.

Thankfully, Liverpool have options aplenty in the final third should either Mane or Jota be forced to miss the second leg with Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all fit and available.

But it is important to note that all yellow cards are wiped out on completion of the quarter-finals and are not carried forward to the semi-finals.

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