Benfica gearing up for Champions League clash with Fenerbahce
Benfica are set to take on Turkish side Fenerbahce this Tuesday in the Champions League third qualifying round as they bid to make the group stage of Europe's most prestigious competition for the ninth time in a row.
Having been the seeded side for the tie, Benfica go into the match as favourites, but know they have been dealt a very tough draw in their Champions League endeavours.
They do have the consolation of knowing that a defeat would still see them compete in this season's Europa League campaign.
The first leg to be played tomorrow will see Benfica play as hosts, who will be looking to gain an advantage to take to Turkey next week.
Benfica will not be using their Brazilian striker Jonas, who is on the brink of heading to Saudi Arabia in a big-money move. The 34-year old star striker has had an exceptional career at Benfica since arriving on a free transfer four years ago, scoring 99 goals in just 110 league games in total.
It is sure to be a competitive game, however, with Benfica's new signings Facundo Ferreyra and Castillo more than capable of stepping up in the absence of the Brazilian, while it's worth looking out for Gedson Fernandes and João Felix, who could make their competitive debuts for the Benfica senior side. Vlachodimos, Benfica's new goalkeeper, is also likely to start between the sticks.
The winner knows that a clash with either Greek side PAOK or last season's Champions League qualifiers Spartak Moscow awaits them in the next round.
Potential Benfica XI: Vlachodimos; André Almeida, Ruben Dias, Jardel, Grimaldo; Fejsa, Gedson, Pizzi; Salvio, Cervi, Ferreyra.