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Laudrup's boys out to finish Benfica job

Published: Wednesday 12 March 2008, 9.23CET
Not even a long injury list can dampen Getafe CF spirits as they look to press home a 2-1 advantage against SL Benfica and advance to the quarter-finals.

Tournament statistics

GetafeBenfica

Goals scored21
 
4
Attempts on target51
 
14
Attempts off target58
 
17
Corners42
 
19
Offsides14
 
2
Fouls committed124
 
38
Yellow cards31
 
11
Red cards1
 
1

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Published: Wednesday 12 March 2008, 9.23CET

Laudrup's boys out to finish Benfica job

Not even a long injury list can dampen Getafe CF spirits as they look to press home a 2-1 advantage against SL Benfica and advance to the quarter-finals.

Not even a long injury list can dampen Getafe CF spirits as they look to press home a 2-1 advantage against SL Benfica and reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

Flying high
Getafe coach Michael Laudrup may be without nine players but his side are unbeaten in nine games and enjoying their best run of the season. So, having won 3-0 at Real Murcia CF on Sunday to go tenth in Spain's top flight, they welcome Benfica to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez in confident mood. Laudrup said: "Things are going well and we haven't noticed a dip in fitness levels. We don't want to rotate the squad too much, but obviously tiredness catches up on you."

Casualties
Laudrup's hand will, however, be forced by a number of absentees. Defender Cata Díaz is out for five weeks after spraining ligaments in his right knee. With Esteban Granero, Manu, Mario, Ikechukwu Uche, David Sousa and Miguel Pallardó also injured – and with Pablo Hernández and Braulio suspended – Juanfran Moreno, Víctor Mesa and Ricardo De Souza step up from the reserves.
 
Getafe curse

Getafe have been something of a curse to their European rivals this term. Since October, the coaches of three of their four UEFA Cup group-stage opponents lost their jobs – Martin Jol/Tottenham Hotspur FC, Guy Luzon/Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC, Frank Vercauteren/RSC Anderlecht – while Lorenzo Serra Ferrer of AEK Athens FC and now Benfica's José Antonio Camacho have joined the unfortunate list in the knockout rounds. Camacho resigned after Benfica's first-leg defeat preceded Sunday's home draw with the Liga's bottom club UD Leiria.

'Determination'
Camacho has been replaced by former Portuguese international Fernando Chalana who takes charge of his first senior match as a coach. "The players are full of determination, just like me," he said. "I have been in football since I was 15 and have played in many great games. This is just another game. I am responsible for the team and am keeping calm. I can give Benfica everything I have learned down the years. They all have to work for the same goal."

Winning mentality
The 49-year-old has taken the reins for the remainder of the campaign and must lift the players immediately if they are to overturn their deficit. "We are thinking only about winning," he said. "If the players do what we ask, we will win. They are focused and ready to have a great game."

Last updated: 08/04/08 16.32CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2008/matches/round=15121/match=301959/prematch/preview/index.html#laudrups+boys+finish+benfica

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