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Iberian derby win can cheer Camacho

Published: Thursday 6 March 2008, 3.53CET
José Antonio Camacho may be forgiven for having other things on his mind as SL Benfica play their 300th UEFA competition game against visitors Getafe CF.
by Hugo Pietra & Mark Pettit
Iberian derby win can cheer Camacho
José Antonio Camacho is mourning the loss of his father ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BenficaGetafe

Goals scored4
 
21
Attempts on target14
 
51
Attempts off target17
 
58
Corners19
 
42
Offsides2
 
14
Fouls committed38
 
124
Yellow cards11
 
31
Red cards1
 
1

Media Services

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 6 March 2008, 3.53CET

Iberian derby win can cheer Camacho

José Antonio Camacho may be forgiven for having other things on his mind as SL Benfica play their 300th UEFA competition game against visitors Getafe CF.

Coach José Antonio Camacho may be forgiven for having other things on his mind as his SL Benfica side welcome Getafe CF for their 300th game in UEFA competition.

Compassionate leave
The Benfica boss is expected to be on the bench in Lisbon on Thursday, but has been back in his native Spain following the death of his father – whose funeral is scheduled for the morning of the matchday. The 52-year-old's assistant Pepe Carcelén stood in for Camacho at the news conference preceding this UEFA Cup Round of 16 first leg, saying: "We have to be patient, attack well and defend even better."

Extra effort
Benfica striker Nuno Gomes and midfielder Petit, ruled out with a thigh injury and through suspension respectively, are due to attend the requiem, while defender Luisão has vowed that the team will put in extra effort on the pitch in tribute to their coach. "We were saddened by the news of our coach's loss, but we will find the motivation to win the match and to dedicate it to Camacho," he said.

Old wound
Benfica have the additional motivation of overcoming a recent jinx against Spanish opposition, having bowed out to RCD Espanyol in last season's quarter-finals and to FC Barcelona at the same stage of the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League. However, not only are Nuno Gomes and Petit missing, but Augustin Binya is banned to further reduce midfield options; at the back Luisão is doubtful with a knee problem and David Luiz sidelined by an injured right foot; in attack, Ariza Makukula is struggling with a thigh complaint and Freddy Adu on international duty.

Injury problems
Getafe, who in contrast to Benfica are enjoying their debut European campaign, are shorn of Mario with a thigh injury while his fellow defenders Franck Signorino and David Cortés both took knocks in Sunday's 3-3 home draw with RCD Mallorca and may be unavailable. Striker Ikechukwu Uche, who scored in the 1-0 league win at Real Madrid CF on 24 February, pulled a thigh muscle against Mallorca so Albín could start.

Unbeaten run 
Right-back Cosmin Contra is playing down Getafe's chances of progress, despite the team being undefeated in seven games. "Benfica are favourites," said Contra, who reached the 2001 UEFA Cup final with Deportivo Alavés. "They have more pressure, they are the side that have to get through. Our dream is to make the quarter-finals and then see what happens. We need not fear any opponent, regardless of reputations. On the pitch it is eleven against eleven, and Getafe have shown they can play good football against anyone. Benfica are a good footballing team but I am sure we will give a good account of ourselves."

Last updated: 08/04/08 16.30CET

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