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Paços de Ferreira vs Benfica Preview

January 29, 2013 By Mike Goncalves
Benfica will travel to the Mata Real on Wednesday to take on Pacos de Ferreira in the first leg of the Portuguese Cup semi-final.

Jorge Jesus and his squad will be looking to take another step towards winning the Taca de Portugal, a title that has been missing from the Benfica trophy case since they defeated Porto 1-2 at the Estadio Nacional do Jamor in May of 2004. 

Goals from Simao Sabrosa and Greek international Fyssas canceled out a 45th minute goal from Derlei, handing the Lisbon side their record setting 24th Taca de Portugal title. 

Since then, Benfica has not been able to reclaim the title, but Jorge Jesus is determined to win his first Taca de Portugal of his managerial career. The Portuguese manager came close during the 2006/07 season when he led Belenenses to the final, but a late goal from Liedson gave Sporting CP the title.

 

Jesus may be without Oscar Cardozo on Wednesday due to some muscle soreness which saw him miss their weekend clash with SC Braga.

Enzo Perez and Brazilian defender Jardel picked up slight knocks against Braga, but they should be able to feature in Wednesday's match. One probable return for the Aguias will be Carlos Martins who has been out due to injury as of late.

Paulo Fonseca, Pacos de Ferrerira manager, believes that his teams form in the current campaign proves that they can have a say in this two leg elimination.

"I have no problem in admitting that Benfica is the favorite, but given our run up until this point, we have every reason to believe we can make things interesting," said Paulo Fonseca in his last press conference before the match.

"The fact that this is a two leg elimination makes things easier on the bigger clubs, which takes some justice away from the competition."

When questioned about the availability of Vitor, who has been rumored to be close to signing with Benfica, Paulo Fonseca made it clear that his player is available and will most likely play.

"Vitor is available and will more than likely play. All the players know that it is is completely normal to be linked with rumors given the transfer window being open."

 

Previous Matches

09-28-12 Pacos de Ferreira 1-2 Benfica

03-11-12 Pacos de Ferreira 1-2 Benfica

10-01-11 Benfica 4-1 Pacos de Ferreira

04-23-11 Benfica 2-1 Pacos de Ferreira (League Cup)

03-12-11 Pacos de Ferreira 1-5 Benfica 

10-29-10 Benfica 2-0 Pacos de Ferreira

 

Prediction

Many expected Benfica to face a difficult task away to Academica in the quarter-finals of the Taca de Portugal, but the Lisbon side made quick work of the Estudantes. A 0-3 lead heading into the break was more than enough to see off Pedro Emanuel's side, which conceded a fourth goal in the 71st minute, thanks to Eduardo Salvio.

Most fans would not have expected that result against Academica, especially away and in the rain, but Jorge Jesus' men showed up to play.

Paulo Fonseca will be well aware of Benfica's offensive power, but he will be hoping that they are not in such inspired form when they arrive at the Mata Real on Wednesday. 

The Pacenses defeated Gil Vicente 2-1 in the quarter-finals, but it took a goal in stoppage time from Caetano to see off the Gilistas.

With six defeats against Benfica in their previous six meetings, Paulo Fonseca's side will be ready to take a positive result with them into the second leg at the Estadio da Luz. 

In 17 meetings at the Mata Real, Pacos de Ferreira has only won on two occasions. Once in the 2005/06 season, where they claimed a 3-1 victory, and during the 2001/02 season having won 2-1. 

Benfica has scored 19 goals in their last six trips to the Capital do Movel, while only conceding eight.

Wednesday's match should not be much different than what we have seen in the past between these two sides. The Aguias are playing well this season, and have yet to lose in any domestic competition, so they will want to make sure they continue that run.

An important win against Braga at the weekend will have given Benfica some added confidence, but they will need to make sure they do not take Pacos de Ferreira lightly. 

The hosts have only conceded 12 goals in the Portuguese League, which happens to be the same amount Benfica has conceded. Having the second best defense in the league may help, but Pacos de Ferreira has scored 19 less goals than Benfica.

With only two defeats in the domestic league, Pacos has clearly shown that they can cause problems for any team in the league, especially at home where they feed off of their crowd. 

A 1-2 loss in September against Benfica gave Fonseca's side their only defeat on their home turf, so the hosts will want to make up for that defeat.

Pacos de Ferreira 1-2 Benfica

Follow Mike Goncalves on Twitter

 

 


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