Raúl: "I'm ready to play 12 or 90 minutes"

Pizzi and Raúl Jiménez were the players selected to attend Tuesday’s pre-match press conference at the Estádio da Luz. After his winning goal against Académica on Saturday, Raúl Jiménez is the fans’ favourite to replace the suspended Jonas, but the Mexican striker conceded that the final decision is not his own.

“The boss is the one who decides who is in good form, and who it is that will replace Jonas. I’m ready to play 12 or 90 minutes. I’m determined. I’m glad to have helped the team get the win in the last match, but now we will think 100% about Bayern.”




Match Preview: Benfica x Bayern Munich

Ahead of the crucial second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final between Benfica and Bayern Munich, we teamed up with OneFootball and Bayern blog Mia San Rot to preview the big game. In this exclusive Q&A, both blogs talk tactics, analyse the key duels on the pitch, and share their predictions regarding the outcome of this mouth-watering European tie.




Benfica x Bayern: Pre Match Press

Rui Vitória spoke to the press at the Estádio da Luz on Tuesday evening, ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich. The 45-year old does not expect the Bavarians' tactics to differ much from the first leg in Munich.

"We have to play with defensive organisation. Bayern are a tremendously tough team and are a candidate to win this (competition). They play the same (way) at home and away, so we have to play to the limit and be bold offensively. (Pep Guardiola) said that this would be a difficult round, and it remains so. We have to play with great dedication, inspiration, and motivation."




Benfica x Bayern Munich Squad List

Rui Vitória has named his squad ahead of tomorrow's crucial UEFA Champions League second-leg encounter with Bayern Munich at the Estádio da Luz. Benfica trail 1-0 after their narrow defeat in Germany, and require a clean sheet to stand a good chance of progressing.

The manager is without Brazilian top-scorer Jonas due to suspension, and will look to Mexican Raúl Jiménez to replicate his performance against Académica, after his late winner on Saturday. Nico Gaitán remains a doubt, and his fitness will be evaluated on the day. Júlio César, Nuno Santos and Lisandro López are all out through injury.

Goalkeepers: Ederson and Paulo Lopes.

Defenders: Luisão, Lindelof, Eliseu, Sílvio, Jardel, André Almeida and Nélson Semedo.

Midfielders: Fejsa, Samaris, Renato Sanches, Gaitán, Salvio, Gonçalo Guedes, Pizzi, Talisca and Carcela.

Forwards: Raúl Jiménez, Mitroglou and Luka Jovic.




Poll: Fans back Raúl to start against Bayern

With Jonas suspended for the visit of Bayern on Wednesday, Rui Vitória must decide who should replace him in Benfica's starting eleven. This week, we ran a 48-hour Twitter poll to see who the fans would prefer to come into the side.  




Opinion: News and views from the Bayern camp

Benfica welcome Bayern Munich to the Estádio da Luz on Wednesday night, to contest the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Ahead of the match, we got the inside story on Bayern’s preparations from Juan Pablo González, features editor at Bayern Central.




Vieira, Gaitán and Raúl reflect on Bayern defeat

Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira gave a rare post-match interview after Benfica’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday. The 66-year old real estate mogul extolled the virtues of the team, reserving special praise for Benfica’s B-team graduates.

“What is important to note is that it was a very complicated game… it is difficult to play in this stadium, but (the performance demonstrated) that the values ​​of Benfica are well established in this team. The humility, determination and ambition... after all, we are Benfica.”




Vitória proud of battling Benfica

Rui Vitória

After watching Benfica fall to a narrow defeat in Munich on Tuesday night, Rui Vitória revealed his pride at his team's spirited performance: “We (played) at a very high level, very close to excellence, with much conviction. I’m a proud coach. To see this team (playing this way) would make anyone proud. We came (here) with huge personality, without changing our strategy, believing (in ourselves) and creating difficulties for Bayern.”

“We wanted to win (tonight), but we did a wonderful job. We didn't back down, and now we have an open tie. All that remains is to fight (for every) centimetre. Here we honoured what it is to be Benfica.”




Jonas: "The tie is still open"

Jonas

Benfica suffered a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night, in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Despite taking the lead in the second minute of the match, the Bavarians could not convert their superior possession into more goals, and Benfica had chances of their own at the other end of the pitch. The teams meet again in the second leg at the Estádio da Luz next Wednesday, and Benfica are still very much in the tie, according to Brazilian marksman Jonas.

"We suffered the early goal, but maintained (our) calm and organisation. We only lacked a goal. We had difficulties during the 90 minutes... Bayern like to control the game, (but) in the little time that we had the ball, we created opportunities. We could have left with a better result, but the tie is still open. At home, in front of our fans, we have the ability to score a goal, and, who knows, to get through this round."




Vitória ignores Guardiola's mind games

Rui Vitória faced the press at the Allianz Arena on Monday night, ahead of the biggest game of his coaching career. He addressed a number of topics, beginning with Pep Guardiola’s claims that Bayern are not favourites for the tie, and that Benfica possess “the best back four in Europe.” Guardiola has a history of making such disingenuous statements, but Vitória refused to be sucked in by the Spaniard’s mind games.

“We all know that teams have to be aware of what they do, and not what (others) say they do. He’s seen our virtues and defects. We will have a match against a powerful team, one of the best in the world. Whoever reaches this round has to have great ambition."




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