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Benfica visit stirs Munteanu memories

Published: Monday 26 September 2011, 15.04CET
Having known success against Portuguese opposition as a player, FC Oţelul Galaţi coach Dorinel Munteanu spoke of his "special feelings" about Tuesday's Group C visit of SL Benfica.
by Paul-Daniel Zaharia
from National Arena
Benfica visit stirs Munteanu memories
Dorinel Munteanu is looking forward to more success against Portuguese opposition ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 26 September 2011, 15.04CET

Benfica visit stirs Munteanu memories

Having known success against Portuguese opposition as a player, FC Oţelul Galaţi coach Dorinel Munteanu spoke of his "special feelings" about Tuesday's Group C visit of SL Benfica.

The visit of SL Benfica for FC Oţelul Galaţi's first home fixture in a UEFA competition proper since 1988/89 provided coach Dorinel Munteanu with the chance to reflect on past personal successes against Portuguese opposition. Munteanu hopes the debutants can build on a creditable matchday one showing at FC Basel 1893, while Jorge Jesus says his Benfica team − unbeaten in all competitions this term − will have no problem focusing on the job against the Group C outsiders.

Oţelul
Coach Dorinel Munteanu
I have special feelings about this fixture because in 1991, while playing for Dinamo Bucureşti, we eliminated a more fancied team in Sporting Lisbon [in the UEFA Cup first round]. I also scored for the national team when we beat Portugal 1-0 [in UEFA EURO 2000 qualifying].

I'm confident we've prepared well. Our competition debut, [losing 2-1] against Basel, has been and gone so our emotions should not be so high. Benfica have so many good players who can decide a match, but we're ready and we'll try to seize our chance. I hope we eliminate the negative aspects from the Basel match and repeat the positives of which there were several. I don't know how many spectators will come but the most important thing for us is that they leave the stadium happy with how we played and with the result.

Weekend result
Friday: Oţelul 0-0 CS Mioveni

Grahovac; Skubič, Costin, Perendija, Sălăgeanu; Filip, Giurgiu; Antal, Ibeh (Paraschiv 46, Punoševac 75), Buş (Frunză 46); Pena

• Nejc Skubič made his Liga 1 debut as Oţelul, without the suspended Silviu Ilie and injured Cornel Râpă, were shut out by a Mioveni side that began the weekend with the worst defensive record in the Romanian top flight. Munteanu's side have been restricted to 11 goals in 11 outings in all competitions this season.

Team news
Râpă sat out Friday's game with a right thigh problem while half-time substitute Gabriel Paraschiv lasted 30 minutes before being taken off with strained adductors. Adrian Sălăgeanu serves a one-game ban following his red card on matchday one.

Benfica
Coach Jorge Jesus
It's not difficult to be focused because each team that qualified for the UEFA Champions League deserves to be here. Of course, there are top sides such as Manchester United and others like Oţelul, but this doesn't matter. Otelul have a very strong and united group, [Liviu] Antal seems to be their best player − I would compare him with [Karel] Poborský.

We try to have continuity in how we play. We're in good form, which our recent results prove, and I hope we'll continue in the same vein tomorrow. I know we've conceded at least one goal in our last [four] matches, but they were against strong teams. I have confidence in our new defenders, Ezequiel Garay and Emerson, newcomers who've integrated well into the team.

Weekend result
Friday: FC Porto 2-2 Benfica
(Kléber 37, Otamendi 50; Cardozo 47, Gaitán 82)

Artur; Pereira, Luisão, Garay, Emerson; Javi García, Witsel, Aimar (Saviola 69); Gaitán, Cardozo (Matić 90+1), Nolito (Bruno César 69)

• Óscar Cardozo took his tally to ten goals in as many matches for club and country as Benfica extended their unbeaten start to the season to 11 games in all competitions though they have won just one in five on their travels.

Team news
Enzo Peréz (right knee) picked up a minor knock in training during the international break at the start of the month and has not played since. Nélson Oliveira (thigh/finger) is yet to feature this term.

Match fact
This is Oţelul's first home fixture in a UEFA competition proper since they took on Juventus in the 1988/89 UEFA Cup first round. They shocked the Bianconeri with a 1-0 victory, though the celebrations were cut short by a 5-0 second-leg reverse in Turin.

Last updated: 27/09/11 12.30CET

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