Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Benfica's early mistakes costs them game in Champions League

Benfica Blog
In a shocking turn of events, Benfica suffered a devastating 2-0 defeat in their opening Champions League game at home to RB Salzburg. The Portuguese giants were left reeling after conceding two penalties and receiving a red card within the first fifteen minutes of the match.

The game started with high hopes for Benfica, as they aimed to make a strong statement in front of their passionate home crowd. However, their dreams quickly turned into a nightmare when RB Salzburg was awarded not one, but two penalties early on. The second resulting in the sending off of defender Antonio Silva at the twelve minute mark due to a handled ball in front of his own goal.

Salzburg striker Karim Konate missed the clubs first attempt from the penalty spot, with a woeful effort that sailed over the bar but his strike partner Roko Simic made no mistake just ten minutes from the same spot, not only giving Salzburg the early lead but Benfica were now down to just ten men.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Benfica showed resilience and fought valiantly throughout the match in hopes of finding an equalizer and may have done so, if not for the superb goaltending of Salzburg keeper Alexander Schlager who turned away six great scoring chances by the time the night had concluded.

Salzburg would double their lead just six minutes into the second half with a bizarre four in on the keeper break that saw 19 year old midfielder Oscar Gloukh find the meshing, as a handful of Benfica's backline were caught out of position looking for an equalizer that became more and more daunting as the game progressed.

This defeat serves as a wake-up call for Benfica and highlights areas that need improvement. Defensive discipline must be addressed urgently to avoid similar catastrophes in future matches. Additionally, maintaining composure under pressure is crucial for success at this level of competition.

Benfica manager Roger Schmidt is not immune to some blame as he continues to baffle fans with his continued use of midfielder Fredrik Aursnes at left back, a move which provides the club with very little attack from that side of the field. 

Also his slow reaction to make changes at the half was on full display in Salzburg's second goal as the players looked gassed and out of position and when he did make substitutions, they were merely like for like and came with no tactical change.

The loss at the Luz is Benfica's second home loss in a row in the Champions League dating back to last season's quarter-final defeat to Inter Milan.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Benfica Fantasy Football 2023/24 Preview

Benfica Blog

The UEFA Champions League is the pinnacle of club football, where the best teams from across Europe battle it out for glory Benfica, one of Portugal's most successful clubs, has a rich history in this prestigious competition. Over the years, they have produced some exceptional fantasy football players who have left an indelible mark on the tournament. 

Here are our player previews for the upcoming fantasy football season.

Anatoliy Trubin - Trubin is undoubtedly a valuable asset. His consistent performances make him an excellent choice for any team manager looking to secure points through clean sheets and saves. Moreover, with Benfica drawn into a challenging group this season, there will be ample opportunities for Trubin to showcase his skills against top-class opposition.

Alexander Bah - Bah is undoubtedly a player worth considering. His consistent performances and potential for goal contributions make him an attractive option for fantasy managers looking to maximize their points tally. Additionally, his relatively low price compared to other star players provides an opportunity for budget management within fantasy teams.

Nico Otamendi - Otamendi offers immense value. Known for his aerial dominance and physicality, he poses a constant threat during set-pieces and can contribute with goals or assists. Additionally, he led last season's Champions League in ball retrievals, making him an attractive option for points accumulation.

Antonio Silva - In terms of statistics, Silva was consistently one of Benfica's top performers last season. He had a number of highlights that influenced the clubs run both domestically and in the Champions League, finishing in the Top 10 in ball retrievals and it is why he should be considered a valuable addition to any fantasy football squad.

Juan Bernat - Bernat is a valuable asset due to his consistent performances and potential for attacking returns. He often finds himself involved in goal-scoring opportunities and has even contributed with assists on several occasions. Moreover, his defensive capabilities make him an attractive option as he has frequently earned clean sheet points from his time at Bayern Munich and PSG and hopes to continue that at Benfica.

Fredrik Aursnes Aursnes' versatility adds another dimension to his game. He can seamlessly transition between defensive and attacking roles, adapting to different strategies employed by opponents. This adaptability makes him an unpredictable force that keeps defenders on their toes and this provides him the opportunity to be a good addition to any squad.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Benfica set to kick off Champions League campaign this week

Benfica Blog
Benfica will start their Champions League campaign at the Estadio da Luz against Austrian side RB Salzburg on Wednesday as they look to get out of the group stage for the third straight season in the hopes of getting past the quarter-final stage which they have been stopped at the past two seasons.

Benfica go into the contest on the back of four straight wins in league play after suffering an opening season defeat and the club is relatively healthy with only left back David Jurasek in the infirmary. Look for Benfica to come out of the gate firing on all cylinders as they look to get their Champions League off to the right start.