Fenerbahce vs. Benfica, 2013 Europa League: Preview and TV Schedule

Paolo Bruno

Fenerbahce have a chance to make their first ever European final if they can progress against Portuguese giants Benfica.

The sense of destiny will be calling for both clubs in the Europa League semi-final as Fenerbahce have a chance to progress to their first ever European final, while Benfica have the opportunity to return to Amsterdam, the site of their 1962 triumph.

Unusually, but entertainingly, ahead of such a big game, we've been getting some trash-talking from the managers, after Aykut Kocaman suggested that Benfica's centre-backs were poor, leading to Jorge Jesus pointing to the international pedigree of Luisao and Ezequiel Garay ahead of the game.

Of course, Benfica's strength is certainly in attack, and while the Turks will want to ensure victory in the first leg at home, they will need to be wary of Benfica's dangerous frontline if they are to avoid conceding too many away goals. The atmosphere of Turkish stadia is legendary, and as Fenerbahce's rivals Galatasaray showed against Real Madrid, anything can be possible. A date with destiny awaits either side.

Fenerbahce injuries and suspensions

None

Benfica injuries and suspensions

None

Fenerbahce have no new injury troubles at all, although some fierce competition for the forward places leaves them with plenty of decisions to make.

Benfica also have a clean bill of health, with Ezequiel Garay returning from injury in time for the match.

Match Date\Time: Thursday, 10:05 p.m. local, 8:05 p.m. BST, 3:05 p.m. ET

Venue: Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadyumu, Istanbul, Turkey

TV: FOX Soccer Plus (U.S.) ITV4 (U.K.), Sportsnet One (Canada), Star TV, NTV Sport (Turkey), SIC (Portugal)

Online: FOX Soccer 2Go (U.S.), ITV Streaming (U.K.), Sportsnet World Online (Canada)

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