Meira confident for Stuttgart
By Thomas Zeh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Stuttgart's Fernando Meira is convinced his team have the edge over Benfica.Stuttgart midfielder Fernando Meira is convinced his team have the edge over Benfica ahead of their Uefa Cup clash.
The Portuguese international believes that Benfica will struggle to overcome injuries to key players.
"Benfica are without Petit and Miguel and they don't have adequate replacements in defensive midfield and on the wing respectively to make up for that," declared Meira.
"If we just play our normal game, we will run out with a win."
After an excellent start to the season, Mathias Sammer's side have lost their last three games and are eager to dispel talk of a crisis at the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion.
Martin Stranzl returns from suspension to join Philip Laum, Andreas Hinkel, and Markus Babbel in the Stuttgart defence.
Despite recent results German international Laum remains optimistic.
"We shouldn't paint everything black because we have lost three straight games, we didn't play that bad at all and are in good shape," noted Laum.
With Stuttgart strike pairing Kevin Kuranyi and Cacau in good form Benfica coach Giovanni Trappatoni is expected to focus on a solid defencsive performance.
Nuno Gomes is likely to play as a lone striker as the Portuguese outfit seek their first win on German soil at the fifteenth attempt.