Spartak Moscow v Benfica preview

Spartak Moscow host Benfica in the first game of a double-header against the Portuguese team that is pivotal in their bid to progress.

Last Updated: 22/10/12 at 16:24

Spartak Moscow: Face Benfica in the first game of a double-header

Spartak Moscow: Face Benfica in the first game of a double-header

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Spartak are bottom of Group G, pointless after two 3-2 defeats in their opening two games.

A late Lionel Messi strike put paid to their efforts in Barcelona but they were then shocked by Celtic who claimed their first away win in the Champions League courtesy of a 90th-minute winner by Giorgos Samaras.

As a result the games against Benfica, who themselves have just one point, are key to both teams.

Midfielder Jose Jurado is on loan at Spartak from German side Schalke and he acknowledges the double-header is set to be a defining moment in Spartak's campaign.

He told the club's official website: "Of course! Two battles with Benfica are crucial to the league position.

"We have to give everything 100 per cent, try to beat the Portuguese, and then Celtic at their place in order to get through to the next round of the Champions League."

Of Spartak's opponents, Jurado added: "They are a strong team with a good selection of players.

"Almost every year they participate in the Champions League and are difficult to play against."

Spartak coach Unai Emery echoed Jurado's sentiments, telling reporters: "Tuesday and in Lisbon are decisive games. We failed at home to Celtic and we can not fail again.

"We must show that we have improved."

Of Benfica, he said: "It's a team accustomed to winning.

"But the Champions League is an important test and all have to be committed. We have great respect for Benfica."

Benfica midfielder Andre Gomes has found himself making the progression from the B team and may well face the Russians tomorrow.

The club are currently second behind Porto in the Portuguese Liga on the most narrow goal difference.

However, they also need to at least avoid defeat tomorrow night, with their sole point so far coming in a 0-0 draw with Celtic.

They were beaten 2-0 by Barcelona last time out and Gomes has no illusions about the importance of tomorrow night's match

In quotes reported on record.xl.pt, Gomes said: "We want the three points.

"We are facing a great team, but we want to get the win."

Of his own elevation from the B team, he added: "We are proud to represent club like Benfica.

"All players representing Benfica have a great responsibility to win over the fans and contribute to the good of the club."

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Champions League Fixtures

Tuesday, 30 September 2014
17:00
CSKA Mosc v Bay Munich  
19:45
Apoel Nicosia v Ajax  
BATE Borisov v Ath Bilbao  
Man City v Roma  
PSG v Barcelona  
Schalke v Maribor  
Shak Donetsk v FC Porto  
Sporting v Chelsea  
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
17:00
Zenit v Monaco  
19:45
Anderlecht v B Dortmund  

Footer 365

Europa League: Everton boss Roberto Martinez delighted with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Roberto Martinez was delighted with Everton's display as they brushed aside Wolfsburg to win 4-1 in the Europa League.

Europa League: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino hits out at Partizan banner

Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino was angered by the "unacceptable" anti-Semitic banner displayed by Partizan fans.

Europa League: Everton open Group H campaign with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Everton opened their Europa League Group H campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Wolfsburg at Goodison Park.

Mail Box

Why Doesn't Rodgers Play Borini?

One Liverpool supporter thinks this could be Fabio Borini's year, whilst we also have thoughts on the Red Bulls, Welbeck vs Gervinho and Paul Lambert's new deal...

Could Arsenal Benefit From Top Four Exit?

That's one idea in the morning mailbox as the Arsene Wenger debate rumbles on. Plus, comparing Welbeck to Gervinho and some advice for Greg Dyke and the FA...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property