Benfica forward wary of Newcastle threat

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Benfica’s Ola John believes that keeping Papiss Cisse quiet will be key if his side is to see off Newcastle in the Europa League.

The Dutch midfielder knows that Benfica are being billed as strong favourites, but he insists that they will take nothing for granted when the two sides meet in their first leg quarter-final clash on Thursday night.

John feels that the Magpies have a lot to offer and will pose a serious threat, so knows that a solid home performance is crucial.

"Newcastle are a good team. This round is not easy because games against English teams are always complicated," he said, according to Sky Sports.

"The key to this round is to obtain a good score in Lisbon, allowing us to manage the second match better. People may be thinking that Benfica are favourites, but I think it is 50-50.”

"For me, the main man to stop will be Papiss Cisse. He is a dangerous forward who is capable of getting goals and if we can stop him then we increase our chances of going through."

John would be right in thinking this, as it was in fact Cisse who scored the decisive goal for Newcastle against Anzhi Makhachkala to send the Tyneside club into the quarter-finals.

The 20-year-old, who signed for the Portuguese giants for around €9million last summer, also underlined his desire to win the Europa League, but knows that his side must first concentrate on getting past Alan Pardew's side.

He added: "I am happy with how my first season in Portugal has gone, but I want to win titles. This Europa League is our dream and we believe we can make the final, but for now we are focused on Newcastle."

Benfica booked their place in the quarter-final after beating Bordeaux 4-2 (on aggregate), whilst Newcastle beat Anzhi Makhachkala 1-0 (on agg) to set up the clash.

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