Europa League: Newcastle v Benfica match preview

A look ahead to tonight’s Europa League quarter-final second leg at St James' Park

Newcastle will have to eliminate costly mistakes and overhaul a two-goal deficit if they are to avoid their impressive Europa League campaign coming to an end at the quarter-final stage. Papiss Cisse’s early goal gave Alan Pardew’s side a wonderful start in Lisbon seven days ago, but they were subsequently well-beaten after committing a series of inexplicable defensive errors.  After Rodrigo Moreno had equalised for the hosts, Lima gave them the lead after capitalising on a woeful Davide Santon backpass. In-form striker Oscar Cardozo then put the first-leg tie beyond any doubt from the penalty spot after Steven Taylor’s obvious handball.

Pardew bemoaned those individual blunders after the clash at the Estadio da Luz, but insisted he was otherwise delighted with the performance. His team were certainly more defensively astute in Saturday’s vital, confidence-boosting 1-0 triumph over Fulham, a result which sparked scenes of wild jubilation as it left Newcastle 13 in the Premier League and five points clear of the bottom three. Pardew has not been coy in blaming the club’s persistent injury woes on their continued involvement in this season’s Europa League, but has so far largely resisted the considerable urge to rest key first-team players throughout the competition. That resolve will presumably be sorely tested this week as Newcastle face a critical North-East derby against Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.

Benfica, meanwhile, will be hopeful of avoiding an upset at St James’s Park after continuing their imperious domestic form at the weekend. Eduardo Salvio and Nemanja Matic both netted to secure a comfortable 2-0 win over S.C. Olhanese, the club’s 21 victory of an unbeaten season. Jorge Jesus’ men have now won eight consecutive games and they will be confident of adding to the 107 goals they have scored in all competitions this season.


KICK-OFF: Thursday, 8.05pm



Benfica 3 (Moreno, Lima, Cardozo) Newcastle 1 (Cisse), Europa League, knock-out phase, April 2013



Papiss Cisse has been caught offside 12 times in this season’s Europa League. Only Fenerbahce’s Moussa Sow (17) has been flagged more often.

The Senegalese striker’s last-minute winner against Fulham on Sunday was the fourth time he has scored in the 90 minute this season.

Newcastle have been awarded 55 free-kicks in the competition so far, more than any other team.

Benfica have not progressed in any of their previous five European quarter-final meetings against English clubs.



Newcastle to win: 3.0

Benfica to win: 2.4

Draw: 3.2


TV: Live on ITV4 at 8.05pm.


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution

Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

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.

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London