Jesus critical of loanees playing against parent club

Belenenses striker Rui Fonte, who is on loan from Benfica, has been left out altogether from the host’s squad list, and Jorge Jesus insisted that the laws in football must change to dissallow loanees featuring against their parent club. 

Manager Preview: CF Belenenses vs SL Benfica

Benfica take on Belenenses this evening in Estádio do Restelo, located a short distance from Estádio da Luz, and at the press conference Jorge Jesus restated his belief in the quality of his side but expects a tough game.

“Being a week away from the clássico [Benfica vs Porto], the difficulties do not increase. This is a Lisbon derby which will not be easy. Belenenses are having a good season, they can qualify to the Europa League and have good players. We know our opponent well and believe in our work.”

Highlights: Benfica 5 - 1 Académica

Benfica cruised past Académica in Estádio da Luz with an intensive start with three goals in the first 20 minutes.

Jardel scored his fourth goal in the Liga with an early header on the 6-yard line from Pizzi's cross. Jonas doubled the lead with another header at far post from André Almeida's cross, who later provided a second assist early in the second half for the Brazilian's brace. Lima added the third 19 minutes into the game from the spot kick after he was fouled on the edge of the area. 

Académica pulled one back with their only shot on target through Rafael Lopes ten minutes from end. Fejsa, who made his first appearance of the season due to a prolonged injury, sealed the scoreline with a well taken shot from 16 yards.

Jonathan Rodríguez made his senior debut with five minutes left on the clock as he replaced Jonas.

Benfica now face Belenenses in Estádio do Restelo next Saturday at 18:00 local time.

Match Highlights

Squad List: Benfica x Académica

Captain Luisão has returned to options after having served a one-match suspension last weekend against Nacional after seeing a straight red in the defeat away to Rio Ave the previous week.

In return, Portuguese left-back Eliseu is suspended this afternoon after receiving his fifth yellow card at home to Nacional and André Almeida is the likely replacement.

Samaris, Jonas, Salvio and Maxi Pereira are also in risk of suspension in the game away to Belenenses should they receive a booking in today's game.

Jorge Jesus previews Académica encounter

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus previewed Saturday's clash against Académica de Coimbra in the club's training centre in Seixal.

"Académica are normally a difficult side to face, a club with history in Portugal. They are a team that interest fans to turn up and I hope it will be the same tomorrow."

Talisca likely to miss Académica encounter

Midfielder Talisca is likely to miss Benfica's next game against Académica at the Luz for the Primeira Liga.

The Brazilian landed awkwardly and dislocated his finger on his right hand, much to the nausea of TV onlookers and nearby colleagues.

Talisca was not part of the group that trained this morning at Seixal which was open to the press for 15 minutes. 

Goalkeeper Artur and defender César were training independently to recover from their respective injuries. Bruno Varela was called up to replace Artur on goalkeeping duties.

Highlights: Benfica 3 - 1 Nacional

Watch highlights of Benfica vs Nacional.

Benfica increased the gap to six points against second placed Porto, who have a game in hand, after an emphatic first half attacking performance. Jonas scored the first on the 21st minute in a move which started with Gaitán's superb tackle. Lima made it two with a cross from Gaitán and Jonas doubled his tally before the hour with a sweetly struck shot from outside the area, hitting the underneath of Gottardi's crossbar  in the process. 

Nacional were able to clinch one back with a long range effort by Tiago Rodrigues. There was not much Júlio César could have done in a game where he spent majority of his time watching the play.

Talisca was brought on in the second half to replace Jonas who is one booking away from a one-match suspension. Jorge Jesus was soon forced to substitute the Brazilian who dislocated his finger.

Benfica host Académica de Coimbra next on Saturday 11th April at 17:00 BST, in Estádio da Luz. Live coverage from BTV 1 HD.


Jorge Jesus wants to nullify Nacional's attacking prowess

In today's press conference at Seixal's training campus, manager Jorge Jesus previewed the Liga match where Benfica host Nacional tomorrow.

"We are in the last third of the championship and it's all more than planned. Nacional are stronger than they were earlier in the season and we felt that in the League Cup semi-final. It is going to be a challenging and competitive game. Now, in our stadium, with our fans we are stronger and hope to come out victorious to continue to meet our goals."

Benfica must maintain Nacional form

Benfica return in the Portuguese Primeira Liga this Saturday at 17:00 BST.

This will be the 21st encounter at the Estádio da Luz between the two sides and the team from Madeira have never left with a smile, accumulating 16 defeats and 4 draws so far.

Jorge Jesus' side must maintain this record and preferably record a win to continue to pressure the rivals, especially after last

Nacional currently sit in 9th place, and Benfica triumphed in the first round where they won 2-1 at the Choupana with goals from Jonas and Salvio.

Action packed April awaits you!

Benfica return in early April once the International break is over. Estádio da Luz is set to receive Portugal as they continue their fight to qualify for the Euro 2016 in France against Serbia.

On 4th April Benfica will host Madeira team Nacional at 17:00 BST, which is then followed by two home games against Académica and league rivals FC Porto. Dates for the latter two are still to be confirmed.