Thursday April 24 2014
‘Benfica similar to Juventus’

Jorge Jesus sees similarities in philosophy between Benfica and Europa League semi-final opponents Juventus.

The pair will face off this evening in the first leg of their last four clash in the competition, with the Portuguese having just sewn up their League titles and the Bianconeri closing in on the same in Italy.

For tonight’s hosts’ Coach, this tie is a meeting of minds and certainly not one that will be determined in just the first leg.

“Nothing will be decided tomorrow,” Jesus has told reporters in his pre-match Press conference.

“It will be decided in the away match and we are prepared for a hard duel. Juve are tactically strong, playing a system that is not very common outside of Italy.

“For us, the Portuguese title is not enough. We have trained these three days, we are ready for a new challenge. In a sense, we are similar to Juve, not only because we too have fine players, but for the approach to the game, the philosophy of how we deal with games, one at a time.”

Benfica will be without influential players Silvio and Eduardo Salvio.

“But Juve will be without the important Vidal. I think both teams will manage.”

Jesus was asked about Andrea Pirlo and the likely influence he may have on proceedings.

“Very few teams can benefit from a player like that, always in the heart of the action both in defence and attacking phases of the game.”

Benfica squad to face Juventus: Artur Moraes, Jan Oblak, Luisão, Garay, Siqueira, Maxi Pereira, Jardel, André Almeida, Djurucic, Ruben Amorim, André Gomes, Sulejmani, Enzo Perez, Ivan Cavaleiro, Cardozo, Markovic, Lima, Rodrigo