Europa League Preview: Fenerbahce - Benfica
The Turkish outfit is aiming to qualify for its first-ever European final, but will be wary of Jorge Jesus' men, as the road to Amsterdam reaches its penultimate stage.
By Mohammed Ali
Gonul, Yobo, Korkmaz, Ziegler
Meireles, Sahin, Baroni
Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Melgarejo
Salvio, Lima, Gaitan
Fenerbahce boss Aykut Kocaman has no pressing injury issues ahead of the first-leg of his side's Europa League semifinal against Benfica on Thursday evening.
Dirk Kuyt and Pierre Webo are expected to continue their striking partnership, despite the 2-0 defeat to Gençlerbirligi in their Super Lig last weekend. Moussa Sow and Salih Ucan are pushing for starts, though Kocaman isn't expected to differ too much from Sunday's fixture.
Meanwhile, Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has been boosted by the news that Ezequiel Garay has recovered from a slight knock suffered in last weekend's 2-0 win over Sporting.
Oscar Cardozo started that fixture, with Jesus mulling over whether to field the Paraguay international up front in Istanbul, with Ola John waiting in the wings.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Fenerbahce qualified for its first-ever major continental semifinal by beating Lazio in the previous round.
- The Turkish outfit has won three of its six games against Portuguese opposition - with a two out of three record on home soil.
- Aykut Kocaman's side is unbeaten in the Europa League since the turn of the year - winning three and drawing three of its six fixtures.
- The Portuguese outfit is hoping to reach the final in Amsterdam - the scene of its European Cup triumph in 1962 over Real Madrid.
- The last time these two sides faced each other in European competition Benfica won 7-1 on aggregate. That scoreline in the first leg remains Fener's heaviest European defeat to date.
- Benfica's Eduardo Salvio holds the joint-highest number of appearances in the Europa League, amassing total of 31 since the competition was re-branded in 2009-10.
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Top 3 Predictions
Fenerbahçe 2-0 Benfica
- 13.88 %
Fenerbahçe 2-1 Benfica
- 12.78 %
Fenerbahçe 1-2 Benfica
- 11.15 %
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||2013-05-02||Benfica 3 - Fenerbahçe 1|
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||2013-04-25||Fenerbahçe 1 - Benfica 0|
|2013-12-07||Çaykur Rizespor 1 - Fenerbahçe 2||TUR1|
|2013-11-30||Fenerbahçe 3 - Besiktas 3||TUR1|
|2013-11-24||MP Antalyaspor 1 - Fenerbahçe 2||TUR1|
|2013-11-10||Fenerbahçe 2 - Galatasaray 0||TUR1|
|2013-11-02||Bursaspor 2 - Fenerbahçe 3||TUR1|
|-||Pierre Achille Webo||Striker|
|-||Fehmi Mert Günok||Goalkeeper|
|33||Jardel Nivaldo Vieira||Defender|
|20||Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián Gaitán||Midfielder|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed