Jorge Jesus predicts even Newcastle United tie

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus on the touchline on March 17, 2013
© AP Photos
Jorge Jesus is ignoring Newcastle United's poor showing in the Premier League this season ahead of Benfica's game against them.

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has insisted that the Europa League quarter-final tie against Newcastle United will be very "even".

Jesus was keen to point out that Newcastle's position of 15th in the Premier League does not have a bearing on how tough an opponent they will be.

"It will be a hard game," UEFA.com quotes Jesus as saying. "At this stage all the teams are strong and league performance doesn't always correspond with European form.

"The fact they are in 15th place in England doesn't mean a thing. They have played 12 matches in the Europa League and lost just once.

"Their squad is full of internationals. It will be an even tie that won't be decided in the first game."

The first leg kicks off in Portugal tonight at 8.05pm.

Scott Brown
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