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Nuno Gomes: "It's like a final for the two teams"

The former Benfica striker believes lightning can strike twice when the Eagles visit Camp Nou.

The pressure is on as Benfica head to Barcelona on Matchday 5, but UEFA.com columnist Nuno Gomes is convinced his old side have it in them to upset the odds at Camp Nou.

This is a game that can make a lot of difference; a win for Barcelona and Benfica's chase for a round of 16 place is over, but I believe Benfica still have a chance at Camp Nou, even though it's a difficult game. It's like a final for the two teams, given their ambitions in the UEFA Champions League. If Benfica can win, they will be ahead of Barcelona going into the last game, when they play at home against Dynamo Kyiv and Barcelona are at Bayern München.

Watch Nuno Gomes score for Portugal
Watch Nuno Gomes score for Portugal

The big question is whether Benfica will change their tactical approach, since they are without a key central defender, Lucas Veríssimo, who has undergone surgery. They could play with three central defenders, but the coach might not be keen to do that without Lucas and I don't know if Jorge Jesus will want to make changes to his usual three.

Benfica will be hoping to take advantage of the space behind Barcelona's defence, so Rafa Silva, Darwin Núñez and Everton could be important players, and there is Roman Yaremchuk too, so Jorge Jesus has some choices to make up front. I can certainly see him going with Rafa, Darwin and Everton, but we will have to see what happens as Jorge Jesus has already made a habit of springing surprises in his starting XIs. But I don't see him straying too far from the sides that he has picked in recent weeks.

Highlights: Benfica 3-0 Barcelona
Highlights: Benfica 3-0 Barcelona

We are still waiting to see how Barcelona will get on with a new coach, Xaví Hernández. He will want a team similar to the one he had as a player, one that dominates opponents, keeps possession and presses high when it doesn't have the ball. I don't think this Barcelona side is quite there at the moment; they have some weaknesses that Benfica can exploit.

Plus it's not easy for a coach to pick up a side midway through a season and get the players used to new ideas. Barcelona are a team in transition, but that can be to their advantage too: the players will be keen to show their new coach what they can do. Barcelona will be going for the win, but they know from their 3-0 defeat in Lisbon on Matchday 2 that this Benfica side is a team that can cause them problems.

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