Midfielder Lucas said Liverpool FC were undaunted by SL Benfica's impressive form and capable of gaining the edge against the Portuguese side as he looked ahead to Thursday's UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg in Lisbon.
Benfica are unbeaten in 25 matches and are the runaway leaders of the Portuguese Liga while Liverpool have been dogged by inconsistency all season. The Lisbon side also beat Liverpool's rivals Everton twice in the group stage, but the 23-year-old Lucas still expects Liverpool to advance.
"Benfica are good, score a lot of goals and are top of their league so it will be a hard match," he said. "It's hard to say who the favourites are. Teams who have got this far have to be strong.
"Benfica are doing well at the moment, but our aim is to reach the semi-finals. We didn't expect the results Benfica got against Everton. We are an experienced side and know how to take advantage of the good moment our opponents are enjoying."
Brazilian Lucas will feel at home in Lisbon against a Benfica squad that boasts ten of his compatriots. Argentinian midfielder Angel Di María, though, intends to make sure Lucas leaves the Portuguese capital in a less positive mood.
"Liverpool have great and important players and we will have to give everything to win as usual," he said. "If we play as well as we normally do we have the players to advance in this competition. Liverpool are the strongest opponents we have faced up to now, but we hope to play well and get a good result to go to Liverpool in a strong position."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.