Football

17 February 2021, 11h07

PREVIEW

Benfica and Arsenal will lock horns this Thursday at 8 pm at Stadio Olimpico, Rome.

Jorge Jesus

What Arsenal do you expect to find in Rome? Has Gilberto recovered from injury?

É uma equipa conhecida. Conhecemos o Arsenal individual e coletivamente. Está no patamar alto do futebol inglês, mas nós sabemos do valor que temos e acreditamos que a nossa equipa pode surpreender o Arsenal. Em relação aos momentos do jogo, o importante é que a equipa, quando estiver a defender, esteja bem estruturada para anular os jogadores que o Arsenal tem na frente, nomeadamente o Aubameyang e o Lacazette. Quanto ao Gilberto, vai treinar e vamos ver que indicações dará. Se estiver clinicamente recuperado, vai ser convocado. 

Can Benfica see the Europa League as a kind of season's lifeline?

There is no lifeline. Benfica entered the Europa League, made a very good group stage, with no defeats, and has the intention of going as far as possible in this competition. We will face an opponent that also has goals in this competition. It's good that we are here, it's a sign that we are competing. It's not about lifelines.

Jorge Jesus

Benfica has a record of 26 unbeaten home matches in the Europa League. Do you think the fact that the match is not at Estádio da Luz has any influence?

Of course it has. Playing at Estádio da Luz is one thing, playing at a neutral venue is completely different. I have no doubts about that. But it is also true that we will not play in London[at Arsenal’s stadium] so the situation is the same for both teams. 

Jorge Jesus

From the three central defenders perspective, is Rafa an option to play on the right flank?

If he was familiar with that position, he would be perfect, but we have not worked this idea with him. Regarding the favorites in the Europa League... From this tie onwards, it's going to be a Champions League. We will face a team with objectives in this competition, but we believe that we have the quality and capacity to fight with Arsenal for the qualification.

Text: João Sanches and Marco Rebelo
Photos: Tânia Paulo / SL Benfica
Last update: Wednesday, February 17, 2021

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