We trail 3-1 from last week’s first leg going into our trip to Estadio da Luz in the round of 16.
But even though Benfica have proven their strength on the Portuguese domestic stage – especially on home soil – versatile defender Zeki is refusing to lose sight of our aims of making further progress in the competition.
“Realistically it’s going to be a difficult game, we know that,” said the 21-year-old, who has made six appearances in Europe for us this term.
“The lads know it’s going to be hard going into the match, especially as it’s at their place. Benfica are a great side but we have to be confident and concentrate on doing the right things so we can get back into the game.
“There always has to be belief when you go into every match, no matter what the score is from the first leg. We just have to work hard.”
Benfica’s three away goals in the first leg
means we have to match that scoring feat this week to have any chance of reaching the competition’s last eight.
But Zeki hopes to play a part in preventing Benfica from adding to their tally while our forward players strive to haul us back into the tie on Thursday.
“The main objective for the defenders is to stop Benfica scoring any more goals,” Zeki added. “Then from an attacking point of view we need to look to get a goal early and keep pushing on from there.”