The official website for European football

Jesus and Advocaat set for showdown

Published: Wednesday 9 April 2014, 19.17CET
Leading from the first leg, SL Benfica coach Jorge Jesus knows their 1-0 advantage is fragile, with AZ Alkmaar boss Dick Advocaat declaring: "We have nothing to lose."
Jesus and Advocaat set for showdown
Jorge Jesus is refusing to write off AZ ©AFP/Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BenficaAZ

Goals scored14
 
11
Possession (%)49
 
51
Total attempts100
 
137
on target52
 
52
off target34
 
60
blocked14
 
25
against woodwork0
2
Corners42
 
43
Offsides15
 
14
Yellow cards22
 
17
Red Cards2
 
0
Fouls committed151
 
175
Fouls suffered103
 
135
Passes4368
 
6054
completed3474
 
4964

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 9 April 2014, 19.17CET

Jesus and Advocaat set for showdown

Leading from the first leg, SL Benfica coach Jorge Jesus knows their 1-0 advantage is fragile, with AZ Alkmaar boss Dick Advocaat declaring: "We have nothing to lose."

Despite carrying a 1-0 first-leg advantage into Thursday's quarter-final return fixture with AZ Alkmaar, SL Benfica coach Jorge Jesus knows that at this stage of the UEFA Europa League no cushion is big enough to guarantee progress.

"There is no margin from the away match that says to us that the tie is decided. Teams are very equal and 1-0 leaves the tie open, both for Alkmaar and for Benfica," said Jesus, who lost the final of this competition with the Eagles last season. "Our advantage doesn't give us room for any type of relaxing. With the teams involved at this level, any result is possible."

The Portuguese confirmed that last week's match winner Eduardo Salvio will be fit to play, but is undecided on the participation of forward Óscar Cardozo, who ended a five-month scoring drought with two for the Liga leaders against Rio Ave FC on Monday. "[Cardozo] is an option. The minutes he is given are governed by the game situation. What matters is what is best for the team. A player could be better than another depending on the situation, because he may have more rhythm or be better for what we want."

Given their experience of getting to last year's showpiece, many are backing Benfica to do the same again, but defender André Almeida refuses to accept a favourites' tag. "With so many good teams at this stage no one side can be, instead we are all are favourites," argued the 23-year-old.

Meanwhile, AZ coach Dick Advocaat believes there is still everything to play for, despite the reverse on home soil. "The tie is open – at 1-0 it is possible to go through," said the former Netherlands boss. "The pressure is on Benfica. We lost at home, so we came here to play our football in an open fashion and with nothing to lose. Benfica have more to lose. We believe we can score. We won't be afraid and we won't play defensively. As I said, we have nothing to lose."

One of the men charged with getting the goal that will bring the Dutch side back into the contest is forward Aron Jóhannsson, who echoes Advocaat's sentiments. "We believe we can create chances, like at home, and we expect to be happier and to score. Of course I expect to score, a striker always expects to score. It's our task."

Last updated: 09/04/14 20.16CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000472/match=2012672/prematch/preview/index.html#jesus+advocaat+ready

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE word, the UEFA Europa League logo and the UEFA Europa League trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.