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Chelsea star tells Benfica: Don't be afraid against Tottenham

Chelsea man Nemanja Matic has told his former club to play their own game.

Tottenham were defeated 4-0 by Chelsea at the weekend, with a late brace from Demba Ba perhaps flattering the scoreline.

A key man in the midfield at Stamford Bridge was £21 million January signing Nemanja Matic, an acquisition from Benfica.

It's the Portuguese side who come up against Spurs in the Europa League this week, a glamour tie between two teams among the strongest left in the competition.

Benfica are in superb form, particularly defensively, conceding one goal in their last eight matches.

It's a record which gives them a clear platform, and Matic has told his former side not to freeze on the stage at White Hart Lane on Thursday.

He told A Bola: "Tottenham are a very strong team, collectively and top it off with players who can decide for themselves in one move.

"Benfica only have to play as always, and need not be afraid to play their football."

Spurs have been given a potentially key boost, which could hamper Benfica's defensive record, thanks to an injury to full-back Maxi Pereira.

The 87-capped Uruguayan has played 29 games for the Portuguese side this season, including their 2-0 win over Estoril at the weekend.

A Bola confirm the experienced defender will not travel to London due to injury, perhaps handing Tottenham initiative to attack down the flank he would have occupied.

Despite this, Tottenham can expect to see a confident side turn up at the Lane, one who top the Primeira Liga, and if they do as Matic suggests and their play their own game, it will certainly be a tricky tie for Tim Sherwood and his men.

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