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Benfica buoyed by league win

Published: Thursday 24 February 2005, 14.33CET
A domestic win has given SL Benfica hope of overcoming a two-goal deficit against PFC CSKA Moskva.

Tournament statistics

BenficaCSKA Moskva

Goals scored15
 
16
Attempts on target15
 
16
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards9
 
17
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 24 February 2005, 14.33CET

Benfica buoyed by league win

A domestic win has given SL Benfica hope of overcoming a two-goal deficit against PFC CSKA Moskva.

A domestic win has given SL Benfica hope of overcoming a two-goal defecit against PFC CSKA Moskva.

Confidence boost
Giovanni Trapattoni's side came back from Krasnodar having lost 2-0 against CSKA but showed character to beat Vitória SC 2-1 on Monday to maintain their SuperLiga challenge - something that their Italian coach saw as a mark of their character. "We showed our strength physically and mentally," said Trapattoni.

Defensive tinkering
Alcides and Luisão are expected to start in the centre of defence with Panagiotis Fyssas set to replace Manuel Dos Santos on the left. On the right side of defence, Miguel may replace João Pereira. "Miguel is ready but I don't yet know if he will start or come on as a substitute," said Trapattoni.

Relaxed atmosphere
Still on their winter break, CSKA have been in Portugal since the weekend with Valeri Gazzaev having a full squad to pick from. Left winger Yuri Zhirkov is in confident mood. "Our defence have were excellent in the first match, but I also though that the Portuguese team had problems with finishing," he said.

Good movement
"They move the ball well and open up spaces but when it comes to applying the finishing touch they somehow can't do it," added Zhirkov, who made his international debut for Russia against Italy this month. "But I understand that on their own pitch Benfica will be more careful with their chances. We need to limit them to the minimum."

Olic happy
Croatian international Ivica Olic felt equally confident of his side's prospects. "Benfica need a big win to get past us and I think that is unrealistic," said the winger. "I can't imagine us losing by something like a 3-0 scoreline. I am absolutely sure that things will go to plan.

Fit CSKA
"I was a bit nervous about our first match against Benfica as it was our first of the new year while the season is up and running in Portugal," he added. "But our opponents turned out not to have any physical edge - on the contrary, CSKA looked more lively. Our biggest achievement is that we did not concede a goal."

Last updated: 24/02/05 13.34CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2004/matches/round=1977/match=79955/prematch/preview/index.html#benfica+buoyed+league

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