Benfica star Pizzi has insisted his side “have to do better” ahead of facing Rangers at Ibrox on Thursday night – and wants to go on and challenge to win the tournament outright this season.
The Portuguese giants come to Glasgow trailing Rangers in the group and sitting third in the Primeira Liga and the 31-year-old admits they need to be more consistent after struggling against “lesser sides” in the past.
The sides drew 3-3 in Lisbon in the last round of games and the Light Blues head into the match brimming with confidence from the 4-0 win over Aberdeen on Sunday, but Pizzi fired a warning to Steven Gerrard’s side.
“We have an excellent team and one of the most respected managers in the world,” the Portuguese international said. [Daily Record]
“So although we have made some progress in Europe, for me, we should be doing a lot better – we should be challenging for European trophies. For a club the size of Benfica, we have to do better.
“We have to be more consistent and beat teams home and away. In the past, we have struggled against the so-called lesser sides in Europe.
“This season I think our aim has to be to get as far as possible in the competition.
“When you look at our squad, it’s packed full of very talented players who should be playing at the highest stage in European competition.
“We want to get through the group and go on and be challengers.”
Benfica have won both their league games since the sides last met and a win for either, coupled with a win for Standard Liege in the other group game, would secure their place in the last 32.
Getting qualification wrapped up so early would be a massive boost for Rangers and allow Gerrard to turn his focus to domestic matters over the coming weeks while concluding the group fixtures.
While Benfica might think they have the quality already to challenge for the trophy, a win for Rangers on Thursday would surely give them confidence of possibly going further than last season.