Friday, January 29, 2021

Benfica advance to Taca de Portugal semis

Benfica Blog
Benfica advanced to the Taca de Portugal semi-final after a convincing 3-0 win over Belenenses SAD and will now take on surprising semi-finalist and second division side Estoril in a two leg encounter. Benfica got first half goals from Darwin Nunez and Rafa Silva, while Franco Cervi chipped in a second half goal to finish the scoring for the hosts. Benfica will play the first leg at Estoril between February 9-11 while hosting the second leg between March 2-4. The victory was much needed for the Lisbon side who have been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak within its squad and staff over the past few weeks, with manager Jorge Jesus being the latest to test positive for the virus. The winner of the Benfica/Estoril encounter will take on the winner of FC Porto/Braga in the Finals scheduled to take place on May 23rd at Jamor.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Jorge Jesus will not be on the bench for Taca game

Benfica Blog

Jorge Jesus will miss today's Taca de Portugal quarter-final encounter against Belenenses SAD due to a severe respiratory infection that the Portuguese manager is currently battling. Jesus spent the day yesterday in Lisbon hospital running tests as his condition which includes coughing, fever and associated chills worsened but he did test negative for COVID-19. Assistant Manager Joao de Deus will take over the managerial duties for today's game and could also do the same when the club takes on Sporting on Monday in the Lisbon Derby as it is unknown how long the 66 year old manager will be out as the club looks to keep him away from his duties with the on going pandemic. Benfica did receive some good news with the return of striker Waldschmidt from his COVID-19 isolation and will also have the services of Alex Grimaldo, Gilberto, Diogo Goncalves and Vertonghen as their time in isolation due to COVID-19 is over.

Update: It has been announced that Jorge Jesus has tested positive for COVID-19, the club states that he had 7 negative tests prior to testing positive.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Benfica release depleted squad for Nacional encounter

Benfica Blog
Benfica are set to host Madeira side Nacional in Week 15 action of the Portuguese League with a depleted roster due to ten of the clubs players currently out of action after testing positive for COVID-19. The devastating impact of the positive tests will be Benfica dip to third stringers in their league game. Benfica will play Nacional at 5pm WEST at the Estadio da Luz. They will dress all 20 players from the list below for the encounter..
Keepers- Mile Svilar, Fabio Duarte

Defenders- Ferro, Jardel, Todibo, Joao Ferreira

Midfielders- Chiquinho, Pizzi, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Samaris, Julian Weigl, Rafa Silva, Pedrinho, Tiago Araujo

Forwards- Darwin Nunez, Goncalo Ramos, Seferovic, Facundo Ferreyra 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Jorge Jesus waiting to go 3-4-3

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus is waiting on the arrival of recent signing Lucas Verissimo as rumours swirl that he is ready to change Benfica's formation to an attacking 3-4-3. For Jesus' 3-4-3 formation to work he will rely on players to fully understand their roles in this type of formation as he switches to playing with 3 center backs in his starting eleven. A key piece to the 3-4-3 system will be defensive midfielder Julian Weigl who will be expected to get back deeper into the defensive box when the club defends opponents attacks while joining the club on the offensive. Jesus will count on his current squad to master this type of formation which would see the club pin opponents back with the sheer number of players that can commit to the attack but this type of formation requires the right type of skilled players, as stamina and tactical discipline are a big part of this formation working. Jesus is looking to not only compete for the league title at home but make a run in UEFA's Europa League with an attack that might just be hard to defend.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Benfica face world reality after massive covid cases

Benfica Blog
The world as we know has not been the same in almost a year but the little sense of normality that we took some comfort in was watching our favourite sport clubs play even if their were practically little to zero fans in the stands. Today though the world reality hit our favourite club Benfica who have been rocked with 17 positive cases of COVID that effects the clubs players, coaching and general staff. Benfica have had to deal with small cases of COVID-19 among its club during the season but not at such a high level of infection as it sees now.

Benfica have five of the clubs players among the 17 positive cases, this includes Diogo Goncalves, Gilberto, Jan Vertonghen, Alex Grimaldo and Waldschmidt along with club President Luis Filipe Vieira. Winger Everton is also in isolation due to his spouse testing positive, although he himself has tested negative for the virus. Benfica is set to play tomorrow in a semi-final encounter against Braga in Taca da Liga action but the league is currently pondering how best to proceed with the clubs games over the next two weeks. Benfica manager Jorge Jesus who has tested negative for the virus had his press conference cancelled by the club today as they deal with this current situation.

Updated- Benfica have two more player cases of COVID-19 with Nuno Tavares and Otamendi testing positive

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Benfica's Classico result does the club no favours

Benfica Blog
Benfica entered their road game against arch rivals FC Porto knowing that a victory would close the gap on league leaders Sporting who had just dropped points in a draw against Rio Ave earlier in the day. Benfica and FC Porto both sat four points behind Sporting with one of them having an opportunity to close the gap to just two points with a victory. Benfica manager Jorge Jesus provided a surprise in his starting eleven when he moved starting left back Alex Grimaldo into the midfield in place of Everton giving Nuno Tavares the start in Grimaldo's place. The move provided dividends right away for the club when Grimaldo opened the scoring just 17 minutes into the game on a beautiful chip over Porto's keeper. 

The joy was short lived with Porto equalizing just eight minutes later, a score that would hold up until the final whistle was blown. Benfica was giving an advantage to go for victory with just 17 minutes left in the game as Porto goal scorer Taremi was a given a straight red card after a VAR review changed his original yellow card for a hard challenge on Benfica defender Otamendi. Benfica who were having one of their better performances of the season was unable to capitalize on the advantage and blew an opportunity to close the gap on the league leaders.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Benfica set to take Belenenses in quarter-finals

Benfica Blog
Benfica are set to take on Belenenses in the Taca de Portugal quarter-final game towards the end of the month after defeating Amadora 4-0 in their round of 16 game. Benfica got a pair of goals from Chiquinho with Seferovic and Waldschmidt chipping in as they cruised to past the division three side. Belenenses SAD had to come from two goals down to defeat Fafe 3-2 in additional extra time to get to the quarter-final stage. The winner of the Benfica/Belenenses game will face the winner of Maritimo/Estoril in a two leg semi-final encounter before moving into the Taca de Portugal Finals. Benfica have won 29 Taca de Portugal titles.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Is Goncalo Ramos being dangled to Maritimo for Pinho?

Benfica Blog
With Benfica having secured the signature of Maritimo striker Rodrigo Pinho on a free transfer after his contract ends with the Madeira club this summer, Benfica manager Jorge Jesus is pushing to have the 29 year old join the club now instead of later this year. Maritimo have no interest in allowing their leading scorer from this season and last to depart before his contract runs out without an incentive from the Lisbon side, so look for the clubs to complete a loan swap if Pinho is to join Benfica this month.

The name that has been whispered around Portugal with a move to Maritimo is 19 year old youngster Goncalo Ramos, the attacking forward would join the Madeira club on loan until seasons end, providing Ramos with valuable experience while he plays regular minutes at Maritimo. Ramos has only appeared in 180 minutes for Benfica across all competitions this season scoring once while setting up another, he has also appeared in four games for Benfica B were he scored seven goals and added three assists earning himself a promotion to the main club.

Pinho who has been on fire this season for Maritimo has scored sixteen goals across all competitions in just fourteen games, with one of his markers coming yesterday in a surprise Maritimo win over Sporting in Taca de Portugal action. It is no wonder that Jorge Jesus is pushing to have the productive striker join the club now and not in the summer.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Chiquinho with many options to leave club

Benfica Blog

Benfica attacking midfielder Chiquinho looks set to move on from the club during the winter transfer period and the 25 year old has many suitors lining up for his services. Benfica have already been approached by Russian side Krasnodar who were looking to strike a deal for Chiquinho last season, Italian club Torino seem to have also re-kindled their interest in the player. Chiquinho has also been linked with a move to the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer and reports also state that Chiquinho has interest from clubs in Spain, France and Turkey to chose from. Chiquinho joined Benfica last season from Moreirense for €5.25M and has appeared in 46 games for the club across all competitions scoring three times while setting up another seven. With the arrival of Jorge Jesus at the club Chiquinho has only appeared in eight games of the clubs 24 this season.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Benfica defender Ferro set for loan move to Spain

Benfica Blog
Benfica defender Ferro is set for a loan move to Spanish side Valencia with the 23 year old scheduled to fly to Spain next week for medicals. With the arrival of defender Lucas Verissimo from Santos in the next coming weeks, Ferro's playing time at the club would be further reduced then what it already is now, so the youngster is open to a move abroad.

Ferro is a Benfica academy product and would join former academy teammate Goncalo Guedes at Valencia. Ferro made his senior team appearance with Benfica in early 2019 and has appeared in 63 games across all competitions scoring 4 goals. Ferro would be the fifth academy player to be loaned out by the club, joining Jota, Tomas Tavares, Florentino and Tiago Dantas since the arrival of Jorge Jesus this summer.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Benfica land Maritimo striker Rodrigo Pinho

Benfica Blog
Rodrigo Pinho will be a Benfica player next season after the club and player have come to an agreement on making the move to the Lisbon side in the summer. The 29 year old striker is coming to the end of his contract with Maritimo in six months and was free to negotiate with any club, Benfica and Pinho had been in discussions since the start of the winter transfer window. The deal is rumoured to be for five seasons but has not yet been disclosed. Benfica will be Pinho's fourth Portuguese club, with the striker also having stints at Braga and Nacional. Pinho has appeared in 111 games for Maritimo across all competitions since joining the club in the summer of 2017 and has scored 41 goals.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Benfica finally land Santos defender

Benfica Blog
Benfica have finally landed sought after Santos defender Lucas Verissimo after months of the central defender being linked with a move to the club. The agreement for the 25 year is said to be for €6.5M to be paid in three installments with the first part of the payment taking place upon the players departure to Portugal. The agreement will also keep Verissimo at Santos until the end of the Copa Libertadores 2020 tournament with the finals set to take place on January 30, Santos are currently in the semi-finals.

Verissimo has been with Santos' main squad since the 2016 season and has appeared in 130 games for the club across all competitions over that time, scoring three goals. Santos President Andreas Rueda signed the transfer documentation earlier today and the club now awaits for Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira's signature to make the transfer between the two clubs firm. With the arrival of Verissimo, Jorge Jesus may look to go with a system that plays three center backs pushing his wing backs more forward in what would be a 3-5-2 formation.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Benfica game against Santa Clara postponed

Benfica Blog
Benfica's Week 12 game against Santa Clara has been postponed due to poor weather which caused havoc to the pitch as shown in the picture above. The game was called off after just five minutes of play after players complained of flooding on parts of the field and referee Helder Malheiro taking the players safety into consideration decided it was in the best interest of all to not continue the game under these conditions. The league has rescheduled the game for tomorrow at 5pm WEST.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Benfica linked with Maritimo striker

Benfica Blog
The winter transfer window is officially opened and Benfica are already being linked with a move for in form Maritimo striker Rodrigo Pinho. The 29 year olds contract with the Madeira side will be over in the summer and Pinho is free now to talk to any club about a move at the end of the season. Benfica are not alone in their pursuit of Pinho and may be open to offering the Madeira club money now to secure the rights to the player with the possibility of loaning Pinho back to Maritimo until seasons end. Pinho joined Maritimo on a free transfer in the summer of 2017 after being a member of Braga for two seasons prior, during his time as a member of Braga, Pinho was loaned for half of a season to island rivals Naciona. Pinho has appeared in 110 games across all competitions since joining Maritimo and has scored 37 goals for the club with 12 of these goals coming this season alone. Any Benfica move for Pinho would likely see the departure of one of the clubs current strikers with Swiss international Seferovic the likely candidate to see his tenor at the club end over new and more recent arrivals Darwin Nunez or Luca Waldschmidt.

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