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Thursday, February 26, 2004 

UEFA Cup Preview: Benfica - Rosenborg

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Benfica manager Jose Camacho has refused to acknowledge that his side are the favorites headed into Thursday's clash with Rosenborg.

"Which side advances will be decided in the second leg in Norway," he said.

Meanwhile, Rosenborg are confident they can win in Lisbon and have arrived in Portugal "prepared to score goals."

If Simao Sabrosa bring's his 'A' game than Benfica should win this contest. The diminutive winger is one of those players who can single handedly make a difference with his accurate free-kicks.

Rosenborg are organized at the back and will try to exploit some quick counter attacks to which Benfica's defence is very vulnerable.

Nonetheless, the home side should prevail. But, there will be plenty of work to be done in the second-leg if they are to advance.


Team News:

Benfica:

Camacho has opted to leave out Brazilian defender Luisao, Greek defender Fysass and Croatian striker Timo Sokota from his squad for this match.

All three are not 100% fit and will not be on the bench Thursday.

Nuno Gomes is expected to be the lone striker on Thursday with Zlatko Zahovic plaing in behind the Portuguese international.

The Lisbon Eagles are coming off a 3-2 defeat to Nacional in the Superliga and will be looking for a better result in Portugal on Thursday.

Rosenborg:

Rosenborg will be without key midfielder Roar Strand who is expected to miss both matches through injury.

Central defender Riseth injured himself in training and is a questionable starter.

Brattbakk will be their player to watch in attack as he looks to exploit Benfica's inconsistent defence.


Probable Starting Lineups:

Benfica: Moreira; Argel, Rocha, Armando, Miguel; Petit, Tiago, Simao, Geovanni, Zahovic; Nuno Gomes

Rosenborg: Johnsen; Hoftun, Riseth, Basma, Stensaas; Winsens, Berg, Frode Johnsen, Solli; Storflor and Brattbakk

Prediction: Benfica 2:1 Rosenborg

Source: Soccerage

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