Champions League preview: Benfica choose not to risk Rodrigo for Olympiakos clash
Last Updated: 04/11/13 7:13pm
Rodrigo: Not 100 per cent, according for Jorge Jesus
Benfica striker Rodrigo was absent from Jorge Jesus' squad to face Olympiakos in Tuesday night's Champions League match at the Karaiskakis Stadium.
The 22-year-old Spanish forward had not been considered 100 percent fit for the Group C clash and was duly omitted from Jesus' 21-man party for the trip to Greece.
Jesus said Rodrigo had a knee injury, saying: "He wasn't an option. We didn't want to risk him, which is why he isn't in the squad."
Oscar Cardozo scrambled in a late goal for the Portuguese side a fortnight ago as they and Olympiakos recorded a 1-1 draw. Alejandro Dominguez had scored a first-half opener at Estadio da Luz.
That result left the two sides locked on four points after the first three group games, in an apparent race for second place in the Group C table, with Paris St Germain clear at the summit with three wins from three and Anderlecht holding up the table.
Benfica head to Greece in good form as they have recorded just one defeat - a 3-0 loss to PSG last month - in their last 11 matches in all competitions. Friday's 3-0 Portuguese Liga victory over Academica looked set to give them confidence ahead of their European encounter.
Portuguese coach Jesus, who believes his side can progress to the knock-out stages, has targeted an away win to advance and hopes Benfica can clinch that on Tuesday night.
He told UEFA.com: "Olympiakos have good players. In the Champions League any team can win home or away and we have to get a victory in at least one of our away matches."
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Jesus added: "The match on Tuesday isn't a 'final', we still have two games to come, but it's a Champions League match and they are all important. The two teams are level on points and we have to think game to game."
The Greek champions head into the game on the back of Saturday's 1-0 derby win at Panathinaikos and also boast an outstanding recent record with just one defeat this season - a loss also to PSG in an earlier Champions League game.
Kostas Mitroglou has scored 17 goals for the home side this season, with four hat-tricks, and appears the man most likely to be a threat to the visiting defence.
Olympiakos have scored 16 goals in their last four matches in the Greek Super League and coach Michel is confident his side can build on that in Europe and get a result against Benfica.
He said: "They respond well to all challenges. I'm confident we will advance to the next round."
LIVE and exclusive on Sky Sports
UEFA Champions League
Tue 5th Nov - Group A
Sociedad0 - 0Man Utd
Shak Donetsk0 - 0Leverkusen
Tue 5th Nov - Group B
FC Cop'hagen1 - 0Galatasaray
Juventus2 - 2R Madrid
Tue 5th Nov - Group C
Olympiakos1 - 0Benfica
PSG1 - 1Anderlecht
Tue 5th Nov - Group D
Man City5 - 2CSKA Mosc
Plzen0 - 1Bay Munich
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H