Monday, January 16, 2017

Benfica v Galatasaray: Jonas expecting strong response from Rui Vitoria´s side

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 1 Nov 2015

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Benfica will be looking for payback when they host Galatasaray at the Estadio da Luz in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Rui Vitoria’s men took an early lead when the pair faced off at the Turk Telekom Arena in their previous Group C outing but the Turkish side recovered with a Selcuk Inan penalty and Lukas Podolski strike earning them a 2-1 win.

After having their 100 per cent start to their European campaign ended in Istanbul, Benfica suffered defeat to Sporting CP in the Lisbon derby four days later – ending an unbeaten run of 55 home matches in the Primeira Liga.

A 4-0 triumph over struggling Tondela on Friday got them back to winning ways, and striker Jonas – who notched his eighth goal in his last eight Primeira Liga outings with the opening goal – believes it was an important confidence booster ahead of Tuesday’s meeting.

“We started off strong, managing to score three goals that gave us calmness and the three points we needed,” he said.

“It was important to respond well, as we came from negative results and needed to add points.

“Maturity is important, because we have experienced players who need to support the younger ones.”

Kostas Mitroglou missed out due to an ankle sprain and he faces a race to recover in time for Tuesday, with Raul Jimenez likely to continue in attack if he is not passed fit.

Clesio joined Eduardo Salvio (knee), Nelson Semedo (knee) and Ljubomir Fejsa (foot) on the sidelines after picking up an injury against Tondela, and, while the Serb could return, Andreas Samaris misses out due to suspension.

Galatasaray, however, have been boosted by the returns of Wesley Sneijder and Jose Rodriguez to group training.

They will travel with the squad to Portugal, but Hamit Altintop (knee) and Lionel Carole (back) miss out.

Victory over Benfica on matchday three was Galatasaray’s first in 11 European matches and they will be aiming for another win in order to move into the qualification places in Group C.

Confidence will be high in the Galatasaray camp as they come into the game off the back of an eight-match unbeaten run.

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