That put a huge dent to their title hopes in the Turkish Super League!
Thursday's match will be Fenerbahce's first appearance in the final four of a European continental competition and Kocaman will be stressing the importance of winning their home leg.
In the 12 UEFA Europa League semi-final matches since the competition's name was changed from the UEFA Cup, 10 have been won by the home side, suggesting that if Fenerbahce fail to defeat Benfica at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, they will probably miss out on a spot in the final.
Fenerbahce have been led by Brazilian midfielder Cristian Baroni and Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt in their run to the last four.
Baroni, in his fourth season with Fenerbahce, has three goals and three assists in the UEFA Europa League, while Kuyt (three goals, one assist) has also been important for Fenerbahce.
Former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles is also expected to start in midfield, while Joseph Yobo from Nigeria will be on defense.
Benfica are undefeated in the UEFA Europa League this season and last lost a match at the end of February when they were knocked out of the Portuguese League Cup on penalties by Sporting Braga.
Aykut Kocaman will need to warn his defense about Argentine midfielder Eduardo Salvio, who has scored three goals in Benfica's past four matches, including the opener against Sporting.
Meanwhile, Benfica head coach Jorge Jesus will hope his players are inspired by the only previous encounter between the Portuguese club and Fenerbahce.
In the 1975/76 European Cup, Benfica thumped Fenerbahce 7-0 in Lisbon and then held on for a 7-1 aggregate victory after a narrow defeat in the second leg in Turkey.
The match will be broadcast live in the United States by Foxsoccer2go.com
Fenerbahce: Demirel; Korkmaz, Yobo, Ziegler, Gonul; Meireles, Baroni, Ucan, Erkin; Kuyt, Webo
Benfica: Artur; Almeida, Garay, Luisao, Melgarejo; Gaitan, Matic, Perez, Salvio; Lima, John