Vitória targeting “beautiful” end to the season

On Friday, Benfica take to the field for the final time this season, as they go head-to-head with Marítimo in the League cup final. In his pre-match interview at the Estádio da Luz, Rui Vitória confirmed that lifting the trophy would be the perfect finale to the current campaign.

“It’s a final, and whenever this word comes up, the focus has to be even greater. It’s a final that has everything we want: harmony and a party. But it’s a final that we want to win. Whoever represents this club, whoever has made the journey that we have made, wants a beautiful end to the season.”




Squad List: Marítimo x Benfica (League Cup Final)

After Benfica secured their third consecutive League title on Sunday, Rui Vitória has selected every available player for the short trip north to Coimbra to face Marítimo in Friday's League Cup Final (Taça CTT).

Júlio César and Nuno Santos remain sidelined due to injury.

To reach the final, Benfica defeated Moreirense, Nacional and Oriental Lisboa in the Group stage, before beating Braga in the semi-final. The final kicks off at 19:45 BST at the Estádio Cidade de Coimbra.

Goalkeepers: Ederson, Paulo Lopes and Miguel Santos

Defenders: Lisandro, Grimaldo, Luisão, Lindelöf, Eliseu, Sílvio, Jardel, André Almeida and Nélson Semedo

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

Forwards: Raúl Jiménez, Mitroglou, Jonas and Luka Jovic




Almeida guarantees focus ahead of League Cup Final

After Sunday and Monday’s league title celebrations, Benfica return to business on Friday to contest the League cup final with Marítimo in Coimbra. Ahead of the game, regular right-back André Almeida was asked whether the squad had recovered from the recent festivities.

“There is no difficulty whatsoever. We have had time to celebrate and to rest… from today, our total focus is on the League cup. We will do everything (we can) to win it, and we will celebrate effusively if we do so.”




Jonas talks Braga, Copa America and European Golden Shoe

Jonas was the hero once again on Monday night, as Benfica progressed to the final of the League cup. The Brazilian striker entered the game as a half-time substitute, with the Eagles a goal behind. Within 26 minutes, he had helped to reverse the deficit with a goal and an assist. After the match, the 32-year old voiced his satisfaction at the result.

“We left (the field) losing in the first half. We knew that we were going to encounter a team that works hard and creates chances. In the second half, we turned the result around, we won, and we reached the final, which was what we wanted. Mission accomplished!”




Match Report: Benfica 2 - 1 Braga

Today was not just any ordinary day as SL Benfica triumphed 2-1 against SC Braga in the semi-finals of the Taça da Liga. Benfica have not had the best of luck against Braga in cup competitions in recent seasons. In 2010/11, Braga defeated Benfica 1-0 at the Luz in the Europa League semi-finals, to advance to an all Portuguese final with Porto in Dublin. In 2012/13, Braga won a penalty shootout at the Quarry in the semi-finals of the Taça da Liga, and in 2014/15, Braga eliminated Benfica from the Taça de Portugal at the Luz.




Lisandro and Taarabt included in preliminary squad

Rui Vitória has named 21 players in his preliminary squad for Monday's League cup semi-final with Braga. Jardel is absent with a sprained left ankle, while Nico Gaitán has taken a knock to his left foot. It is unclear whether either will be fit for Sunday's trip to Marítimo. André Almeida is suspended.

Adel Taarabt and Lisandro López return to the squad, with the Moroccan still awaiting his first-team debut, and the Argentinean hoping to make his first appearance since January. Skipper Luisão may start, having been sidelined since breaking his arm in November.

The game begins at 19:45 local time, with the winners set to face Marítimo in the final later this month.

Goalkeepers: Ederson and Paulo Lopes

Defenders: Nélson Semedo, Sílvio, Lindelöf, Luisão, Lisandro, Eliseu and Grimaldo

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

Forwards: Jonas, Raúl and Mitroglou




Vitória will make changes for League cup clash

Benfica welcome Paulo Fonseca's Braga to the Estádio da Luz on Monday night, to contest the semi-final of the League cup. The winners will face Marítimo in the final at the Estádio Cidade de Coimbra. Although the Portuguese championship is Benfica's overriding priority, Vitória insisted that they will be taking the game seriously.

"It will be an interesting game between two teams with the same objective: to pass this semi-final and be in the final of the League cup. We will play against a quality team, that have had a good season in various competitions. We really want to be in the final of the League cup, to play at home [tomorrow] and win."




Talisca: "We are growing with every game"

Talisca

Benfica chalked up their ninth successive win last night with a 6-1 drubbing of Moreirense in the Taça da Liga. Afterwards, hat-trick hero Talisca thanked Rui Vitória for giving him the chance to shine.

“I’m very happy, I have to thank the boss for giving me the opportunity to play. Benfica are growing with every game. We started the season well, we have adjusted to the (new) boss, we are correcting our errors, and at this moment we are doing well. The group is united and aware of their mission. Every game we are looking for our best (form) and we are achieving (it).”




Highlights: Moreirense 1 - 6 Benfica




Squad List: Moreirense x Benfica

Benfica face Moreirense at 20:30 tomorrow night in the third and final group game of the 2015-16 Taça da Liga. A point would see Benfica progress to a semi-final against Braga or Rio Ave.

Goalkeeper Júlio César has been rested in favour of veteran Paulo Lopes, but Ederson is expected to get the nod between the posts. Midfielder Pizzi is unavailable with a sprained right ankle. There are no other changes to the squad, although Rui Vitória is likely to shuffle his starting lineup.

Goalkeepers: Ederson and Paulo Lopes.

Defenders: Lisandro López, Grimaldo, Lindelöf, Eliseu, Sílvio, Jardel, André Almeida and Nélson Semedo.

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

Forwards: Raúl, Mitroglou and Jonas.




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