Sunday, May 9, 2021

Benfica may get alternate route to Champions League

Benfica Blog
With Benfica looking likely to finish the season in third spot in Portugal, their route to the Champions League group stage will need to go through the league path. Which would involve advancing past two rounds to get to the group stage but this could all change if Manchester United defeat Villarreal in the Europa League final set to take place on May 26, 2021.

Since Manchester United have already qualified for the Champions League group stage a win in the Europa League would open up a spot in the Champions League group stage that normally goes to the Europa League winner. That spot would go to the club that finishes in third place in France and the third place team in Portugal would then move into the playoff round instead of starting in the third qualifying round.

In simple terms a Man United victory in the Europa League final would see Benfica only need to win one round instead of two rounds to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League. This alternate route would make Benfica's goal of joining Sporting and FC Porto in the group stage that much easier, giving Portugal three clubs in the competition for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Celta Vigo make offer to Benfica for Franco Cervi

Benfica Blog
Spanish club Celta Vigo have maintained their interest in Benfica midfielder Franco Cervi after almost landing the player during the January transfer window. Club President Carlos Mourino is said to have Cervi on his transfer list once the transfer window opens in the summer. The 26 year old Argentinian has been used sparingly this season playing only 803 minutes and is open to a move away from Portugal if it means more playing time.

Cervi joined Benfica in the summer of 2016 from Rosario for €5.65M and has appeared in 171 games for Benfica across all competitions, scoring 21 goals while setting up an additional 26. Cervi has won five cups in his time at Benfica which include two league titles. Celta are said to have offered Benfica €4M for Cervi's services a figure that is well below what the club is looking for and negotiations are on going.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Benfica's failure to win Classico could cost them millions

Benfica Blog
Benfica once again failed to do what they have been unable to do the whole season under Jorge Jesus, WIN a big game. Benfica played FC Porto to a 1-1 draw on home field in the O Classico after taking a first half lead on a goal by Everton who's form has hit an all time high in the last quarter of the season and I look forward to seeing what he can bring to the table next season if he has finally adapted to the style of play in Portugal.

Benfica would fail to hold onto the lead as FC Porto equalized in the second half and a late winner by Pizzi in additional time was called back when Darwin Nunez was called on the offside by mere centimeters in the build up to the play. Benfica would actually see three VAR reviews go against them in this game with the earlier reviews negating potential penalty shots.

Benfica remain four points behind FC Porto for second spot with three games remaining and their hope of an automatic berth in the Champions League group stage now hangs by a thread. All is not lost for Benfica but finishing third will see the club need to get past the more difficult playoff route in which they will need to win two rounds to earn their place in next seasons UEFA show piece and the millions of dollars that comes with an appearance.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

O Classico Preview - Benfica vs FC Porto

Benfica Blog
Benfica get set to host rivals FC Porto on Thursday in the O Classico, a game with many ramifications for both clubs as they battle for a place in the Champions League next season. Benfica's cross town rivals Sporting will be watching the game and cheering on their city rivals as a loss could end any little title hopes that FC Porto have on the season and give Sporting their first league title in almost 20 years.

Benfica currently trail FC Porto by four points for second place and a guaranteed place in the Champions League group stage which would garner the club a windfall of €40M, in what amounts to a must win game for the Lisbon side as a loss would almost guarantee that Benfica will need to go through the two rounds of the qualifying to earn their place along side their Portuguese rivals in the group stage.


 

Benfica probable starting lineup:

Helton Leite, Diogo Goncalves, Lucas Verissimo, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen, Alex Grimaldo, Pizzi, Julien Weigl, Rafa Silva, Everton, Haris Seferovic

FC Porto probable starting lineup:

Marcheshin, Wilson Manafa, Pepe, Mbemba, Sanusi, Sergio Oliveira, Grujic, Otavio, Luis Diaz, Marega, Taremi


 

Benfica Player to watch:

Diogo Goncalves - The 24 year old has come into his own the second half of the season and claimed the starting spot as right back and his attacking flair will cause problems for FC Porto's back four.

FC Porto Player to watch:

Otavio - The attacking midfielder will try to take advantage of Benfica's three center back formation and find holes for his attacking counter parts. 

 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Benfica linked once again to Boca Juniors winger

Benfica Blog

According to reports coming from Argentinian TV channel TNT Sports, Benfica are currently in the process of preparing an offer for Boca Juniors winger Sebastian Villa. Benfica have been previously linked with the 24 year old Colombian during this past summer transfer window but no deal materialized between the two clubs. Villa is currently signed with Boca until the end of 2024 and has a reported €33.5M buy out clause.

Villa has been a member of the Argentinian club since the summer of 2018 and has appeared in 89 games across all competitions, scoring 14 goals while adding 14 helpers. The price tag for Villa is quite high and with Benfica looking to bolster their midfield this summer, this move does not make the most financial sense unless the club is able to get a significant discount from the Buenos Airos club.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Benfica make offer for Portimonense striker Beto

Benfica Blog
Benfica have made their first approach for Portimonense striker Beto with an €8M offer to purchase the 23 year old. Benfica made the offer to the Algarve club after their recent outing in Week 28 were Beto opened the scoring for Portimonense his 11th league goal of the season. Portimonense are said to be open to only selling 70% of the players rights but are looking for more then the €8M offer and with other clubs like German side Wolfsburg and Portuguese clubs Sporting and FC Porto linked to the player it could drive the price for the Lisbon born striker further.

Beto spent the majority of his youth career with Uniao Recreativa e Desportiva de Tires in Lisbon but did spend a season with Benfica back in 2011. Beto would move to Montijo were he caught the eye of Portimonense after scoring 21 goals in 36 contests. Beto would join Portimonense in the summer of 2019 and spent the majority of the 2019/20 season with Portimonense's Under 23 side were he would finish third in league scoring. Beto is signed with Portimonense until the summer of 2023 so Benfica will need to increase their initial bid if they hope to land the upcoming star.