Europa League: Benfica v Newcastle match preview

A look ahead to this tonight’s Europa League quarter-final at the Estadio da Luz.

Newcastle’s curious love-hate relationship with this season’s Europa League continues with a trip to face in-form Benfica. Despite the Toon’s impressive run in the competition, manager Alan Pardew lambasted the packed schedule following the club’s heavy 4-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City last weekend. Newcastle have suffered badly with injury worries throughout the season, and Pardew blamed the ongoing fitness crisis at St James’ Park directly on their continued participation in this competition.

Those injury struggles have seen Newcastle struggle considerably in domestic competition, and Newcastle currently sit just three points above the dreaded relegation zone. In stark contrast, their opponents are enjoying a prosperous campaign. As well as progressing to the Europa League quarter-finals, Jorge Jesus’ men currently occupy top spot in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and have also reached the semi-finals of their domestic cup competition.

Benfica have netted an impressive 102 goals already this term, six of which came during their thrashing of Rio Ave on Saturday, and Paraguayan frontman Oscar Cardozo has been in lethal form of late, scoring three in his last four outings.


KICK-OFF: Thursday, 8.05pm



Newcastle and Benfica have never met in European competition.



Benfica have been knocked out in all of their previous five European quarter-finals against English clubs.

If he features for Newcastle, it will be Shola Ameobi’s 50 appearance for the club in European competition.

Newcastle have kept four consecutive clean sheets in this season’s Europa League. A fifth at the Estadio da Luz would set a Europe League record.

The last time Newcastle reached the final four of this competition was in 2004/05. On that occasion, they were knocked out by Benfica’s fierce rivals, Sporting.

Benfica defender Luisao has notched up 43 total appearances in the UEFA Cup/Europa League, second only to FC Basel’s David Degen, who has 44.



Benfica to win: 1.44

Newcastle to win: 7.0

Draw: 4.2


TV: Live on ITV4 at 8.05pm.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas