Football

04 April 2022, 17h12

Nélson Veríssimo

PREVIEW

Benfica and Liverpool face each other at 8:00 pm on Tuesday, April 5, in the 1st leg of the Champions League quarter-finals and Nelson Veríssimo previewed the clash.

Nélson Veríssimo

Against a Liverpool team that relies on high pressure to force the opponent to make mistakes, the vertical passes and the speed in the front can be important aspects for Benfica to hurt the opponent on the counter?

We must recognize that Liverpool has a team with very high individual and collective power, coached by a manager who needs no introduction. We know we must be at a very good level in these two games, and we believe we can fight for qualification against Liverpool, like I said before the game against Ajax, 50/50 stakes. We recognize the quality, capacity, and merit of the Liverpool team, they are in second place in one of the most competitive leagues in the world. We are expecting a very difficult game, but we believe that by being at our level, as we did against Ajax, we can suppress the opponent's strong points. And we cannot forget that we are going to count on the 12th man in our stadium, our fans, who, with all the motivation they can transmit to our players, will certainly leverage our team for a great European night.

Nélson Veríssimo

"We recognize the quality, capacity, and merit of the Liverpool team. We know we must be at a very good level in these two games, and we believe we can fight for qualification"

Nélson Veríssimo

For an attack as flexible as Liverpool's, can commanding voices like those of Otamendi and Vertonghen, and the very details they know so well, be decisive in a Champions League match?

They are two very seasoned players, and in the tie against Ajax, they and their teammates played a very important role in the team's defensive process. Due to their experience, the fact that they have competed in the English league, and the fact that they like and follow the major leagues, they recognize and know the individual and collective offensive dynamics. Given the knowledge we have of Liverpool's offensive team mentality, we know that they will create difficulties for us, and we must be prepared for them, and we must count on a consistent and cohesive defensive organization. We know that there are spaces and moments that we can exploit in our offensive process. Liverpool likes to press high, use a high defensive line, and at times, because of that pressure, they free up some spaces in certain areas of the pitch, and that's what we have to know how to take advantage of.

Nélson Veríssimo

"We are going to count on the 12th man in our stadium, who, with all the motivation they can transmit to our players, will leverage our team for a great European night"

As with Ajax, Benfica plays first at home and then visits the opponent. Facing a team that is theoretically very strong, does it make things more complicated? It is important to get a good result here, and it will probably be more complicated to get a good result there [at Anfield Road]?

In a two-legged tie, it's always important how the team finishes the first match. From our perspective it's good to play the first game here, we're going to have the Estádio da Luz sold out, we're going to count on the 12th man and that's going to make all the difference because, with that contribution from our fans, the team will certainly catapult itself to a good exhibition. Naturally, this result will be important for afterwards, for what may happen... and eventually have all to play for in the 2nd leg in England.

Text: João Sanches and Sónia Antunes
Photos: Isabel Cutileiro / SL Benfica
Last update: Monday, April 11, 2022

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