Football

08 August 2022, 14h27

Roger Schmidt

PREVIEW

Roger Schmidt previewed this Monday morning, August 8, in the Press room of the Benfica Campus, the 2nd leg of the Champions League 3rd qualifying round between FC Midtjylland and SL Benfica, which will take place at 6:45 pm at the Randers Stadium. 

What kind of match do you expect in Denmark? What are your expectations, considering the lead you take from Lisbon?

I expect an opponent that will do everything to get back in the tie. We are in the middle; we must play another 90 minutes. We have the lead from the home match [4-1], which is a good result, but I have some experience in this kind of match, and the important thing is to never give up and be focused on the 2nd leg. Midtjylland will create difficulties for us, they will challenge us to work hard through physical football, with players who are fast in attack and strong in defense. We must be prepared and show our quality. We have to show our strong mentality from the start and believe that we will be in the play-off.

Roger Schmidt

"I know how football is, and it's not a question of miracles... 4-1 is not 8-0, it is a good result, but nothing is decided yet"

Roger Schmidt, Benfica coach

After the emphatic win in the 1st leg, do you plan to make many or few changes to the starting eleven?

We have to see which players are available. Of course, I can always think about making changes in the starting eleven. In the first two official matches of the season [Midtjylland and Arouca] we used the same starting eleven both times, the players were used to playing together, they deserved it, but there is always the chance of changing, and my final decision will only be made after today's training session [Monday]. Besides, I will have to understand if João Mário can play or not.

Roger Schmidt

With this lead in the tie, can we expect Benfica to control the match or a more contained team?

For me, the best way to defend is to keep the ball away from our goal. My idea is not to defend close to our goal, with many players. We have to believe in ourselves, our ideas are proactive. We will play to score goals, and, if we do it well, this will be the best way to prevent goals from the opponent. We believe this and our approach will not be much different from the one we had in the 1st leg.

At the end of the first leg, the Midtjylland coach said that not even with a miracle will his team be able to qualify for the next round…

Their coach said what he said right after the game. I'm one hundred percent sure that the next day he saw things differently. I think they believe they can turn the result around and will prepare the match based on that, on re-entering the tie right from the start of the match. I know how football is, and it's not a question of miracles... 4-1 is not 8-0, it is a good result, but nothing is decided yet! 

Roger Schmidt

"The most important thing in football is to have ball possession. We try to be very good at that moment, creative, with vertical football attacking the opponent's penalty box" 

In the match against Arouca, in one of Benfica's goals, the team made 31 passes in 82 seconds. What does this reveal about the ideas you want to implement?

The most important thing in football is to have ball possession. We try to be very good at that moment, creative, with vertical football attacking the opponent's penalty box, and a good rhythm of play is also needed. In that match against Arouca, against ten players [Quaresma was sent off], we were patient, because the opponent had many players behind the ball, defending with everything, and the goal we scored was a good example of when we can put pressure on the opponent, know how to wait for the right moment and attack the last third of the pitch . Friday, we gave good signs.

Text: Sónia Antunes and Marco Rebelo
Photos: Tânia Paulo / SL Benfica
Last update: Monday, August 8, 2022

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