Alan Pardew knows that Paolo Di Canio will have the Black Cats fired up for the derby and it might be that he rests key players for Thursday’s match against a quality Benfica team that won 3-1 at the Stadium of Light last week.
Papiss Cisse actually gave Newcastle an early lead in Portugal before the Benfiquistas stormed back and it would be a surprise if the visitors didn’t score at least once in this match, which would leave the north-east side needing three goals to force extra-time.
United are a best price 2/1 (bet365) to win this second leg match although you can get bigger odds of 11/2 with the same firm that they reach the semi-finals and a 3-1 first leg defeat was not a particularly good result, with that Oscar Cardozo penalty making a big difference.
Benfica will certainly be well-placed to take advantage of any weakness in the Newcastle rearguard and William Hill offer 6/4 about an away win on Thursday night, with Jorge Jesus’ team looking to put the tie to bed nice and early.
Sunday’s 2-0 win at Olhanense means it is now twelve straight wins in all competitions for the Portuguese league leaders, with Rodrigo Lima having fired five goals in as many games recently. Bet365’s odds of 7/1 about him scoring first could be a touch on the big side.
Newcastle left it very late to score the winner against Fulham on Sunday although that at least means that the prospect of relegation this season looks a remote one. Papiss Cisse struck late not for the first time this term and the Senegal forward is 13/2 with Paddy Power to break the deadlock in this one.