10 April, 2013 - 13:26

Europa League fixtures preview: Newcastle vs Benfica

Europa League fixtures preview: Newcastle vs Benfica

Newcastle host Benfica in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final, with two-goal deficit to overturn in order to progress to the next stage of the tournament.

Newcastle have suffered 3-1 defeat in their first leg, as the Portuguese have capitalized on mistakes of Santon and Taylor to put themselves in the driving position to qualify for the semi-finals. Now English side need to score two goals and not concede to make it through on away goals. The task is tough albeit not an impossible one.

Newcastle team news:

Debuchy and Gouffran are ineligible due to being cup-tied, while Ben Arfa (hamstring), Tiote (hamstring), Debuchy (hamstring), Santon (hip) and Vuckic (knee) sidelined with injuries.

Long-term absentee Ryan Taylor is likely to be back into action against Sunderland on Sunday, while Haidara and Coloccini could start from the bench because of knee and back injuries respectively.

Newcastle recent form:

The Toons have beaten Fulham 1-0 by courtesy of Cisse’s goal in the dying stages of the game, which allowed them to move 5 points clear of relegation zone. Senegalese’s late goal has undoubtedly had a significant morale-lifting impact on the team.

Benfica recent form:

Benfica retained their impressive domestic form by outplaying Olhanense 2-0. They are topping the table, four points clear of second-placed Porto and are yet to taste defeat this season.

Benfica team news:

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus has few injuries to be concerned with. Eduardo Salvio is a major doubt after sustaining a knee injury.

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Author: Basil Naumov

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