Newcastle – Benfica 11.04.2013
Newcastle United face a difficult task in the Europe League quarter-final return leg
as they are trailing 3:1 to their opponents Benfica. With both sides likely to adopt attack-minded approach, there is every chance we will see another entertaining match.
Following a fantastic last season in the Premier League, Newcastle have been struggling this term especially since the key player Demba Ba left the club. Alan Pardew’s men are now fighting for the Premiership survival as the team are just five points clear of the relegation zone. On the other hand, the team’s performances in Europe League have been promising until the quarter-final first leg against Benfica. Newcastle took an early lead in Lisbon, but then the hosts overturned the deficit thanks to goals from Rodrigo, Lima and Cardozo from the penalty spot. The English side now need to produce an extraordinary display in order to book the place in the Europe League semi-finals. The Magpies will surely go all out attack in the return leg meaning we should expect a real football festival with lots of goals scored. Newcastle usually play entertaining games at their St James Park, so we are likely to see another high-scoring game this Thursday.
Match: Newcastle – Benfica 21.05h
League: Europa League
Our prediction: over 2.5 goals Odds: 1.95
Since the arrival of ex Braga coach Jorge Jesus, the Eagles’ performances have been pretty amazing in all the competitions entered. Benfica are currently on a seven-match winning run in Primeira Liga and they are four points clear of Porto in the standings. The Eagles have been even more impressive in the Europa League as the team have recorded five wins from five games in the competition. Jorge Jesus’ men travel to England in looking to defend the 3:1 lead from the first leg, but, as Portuguese side always play attacking football, they will surely try to score a few goals at St James’ Park. The Portuguese outfit have scored 107 goals so far this season in all competitions and they are likely to continue the trend this Thursday. Oscar Cardozo is eager to continue brilliant goal-scoring run and the South American striker should be the main threat for the hosts. The visitors are surely closer to making it to the semis.