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UEFA Europa League

  • 4 April 2013
  • • 20:05
  • • Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
  • Referee: A. Gautier
  • • Attendance: 44133

Benfica - Newcastle Preview: Eagles hoping to end run of five quarter-final eliminations to English teams

Benfica - Newcastle Preview: Eagles hoping to end run of five quarter-final eliminations to English teams

Nicolás Gaitán, Benfica, 2012 / Getty

Alan Pardew's side go to Lisbon on the back of a heavy defeat at Manchester City, while their Portuguese hosts hope to pick up their fifth consecutive Europa League win


Pereira, Garay, Luisao, Melgarejo 
Matic, Martins
John, Lima, Gaitan
Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Taylor, Santon
Cabaye, Anita
Marveaux, Sissoko, Jonas

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has very few injury problems to contend with ahead of the visit of Newcastle United in the Europa League on Thursday.

Argentina international attacker Eduardo Salvio (knee) is expected to miss out, while wholesale changes are not predicted following the side's impressive 6-1 win over Rio Ave at the weekend.

Brazilian striker Lima would have been a likely candidate to make way for former Real Madrid and Bolton man Rodrigo, but he may well retain his place after scoring a hat-trick on Saturday.

Alan Pardew has a considerable number of fitness worries, but the returns of Davide Santon and Tim Krul will be boosts.

Massadio Haidara, Cheikh Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini could potentially be in contention for at least a place on the bench, but they remain doubts.

Ryan Taylor (knee) has joined up with the squad in Lisbon to train, but will definitely not be involved, while Haris Vuckic (knee), Mathieu Debuchy (hamstring) and Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) will also be unavailable.

  • So far this season, Benfica have scored 102 goals in all competitions.

  • The Eagles have not lost at home in the Europa League since December 2008 when they were defeated by Metalist.

  • Jesus' team are on a run of four consecutive wins in the competition.

  • Benfica's last five quarter-finals with English opposition have resulted in elimination.

  • Newcastle have beaten Metalist Kharkiv and Anzhi Makhachkala in the knockout stages so far.

  • Pardew's side have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four matches in this competition.

  • However, the Magpies have only managed two away wins all season.

  • Shola Ameobi (pictured) is Newcastle's top scorer in the Europa League with three goals in eight matches.

Players to watch

N. Gaitán

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Formerly a reported target for Manchester United among other European giants, Gaitan's form has tailed off a little over the past year or so, but he should still be considered a dangerous component to Benfica's armoury.

The tricky ex-Boca Juniors winger can operate on the left or the right, with his left foot capabale of delivering pin-point crosses and powerful shots. The Argentine's unpredictable nature will have Newcastle on their toes.

Y. Cabaye

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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When playing away from home in Europe, particularly against sides to the standard of Benfica, it is normal to see significantly less of the ball than normal, meaning sides have to be more careful in possession.

With that in mind, Cabaye's ball retention and passing will be more important than ever, with the Frenchman needing to pick out those key passes on the potentially few occasions he gets.

Editor's Prediction

Confidence among the Newcastle ranks cannot be high considering their fairly poor season and recent battering at Manchester City, while Benfica's home record speaks for itself. With plenty of attacking flair, this first leg only looks to be going one way.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


Newcastle United


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

SL Benfica SLB
SL Benfica Benfica
Newcastle United FC NEW
Newcastle United FC Newcastle United

Top 3 Predictions

SL Benfica SLB
2 - 0
Newcastle United FC NEW
SL Benfica SLB
2 - 1
Newcastle United FC NEW
SL Benfica SLB
3 - 1
Newcastle United FC NEW