Monday, November 29, 2021

Barcelona still locked on Benfica left back Grimaldo

Benfica Blog
Barcelona have locked onto Benfica left back Alex Grimaldo as the heir apparent to long time starting left back Jordi Alba who will be 33 before seasons end. Barcelona had been linked previously with their former home grown talent when Ronald Koeman was at the helm but the change in manager to Xavi has only intensified the clubs desire to land Grimaldo for next season after his display against the club in Champions League action.

Grimaldo left Barcelona's B team in the winter of 2016 for a mere €2.1M and has been Benfica's regular starting left back since the 2017/18 season. Grimaldo has appeared in 223 career games with the club across all competitions, scoring 16 goals while setting up an additional 45. Benfica are intent on holding onto the 26 year old Spaniard as they await a minimum bid of €25M-€30M to consider letting him depart.


Friday, November 26, 2021

Benfica and FC Porto set to clash in Taca de Portugal

Benfica Blog
Benfica and FC Porto will take their rivalry to the Taca de Portugal after both clubs were drawn together yesterday for the round of 16. The game will take place at Porto's Estadio do Dragao with a firm date yet to be set but the encounter will happen just before the holiday season kicks in, anywhere from December 21st to the 23rd.

Benfica and FC Porto will be facing off in the Taca for the 37th time with Benfica leading the head to head encounters 21-10, with 5 games ending in a draw. The last time the two clubs met in the competition was in the Final two seasons back a 2-1 FC Porto victory. The two clubs last encounter in the round of 16 happened way back in 2000-01 edition which was also a victory for FC Porto.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Benfica need help to advance to round of 16

Benfica Blog

It has now been more then 24 hours since the miss heard around the world in yesterdays Champions League group stage as Swiss striker Haris Seferovic missed a sure winner in injury time that would have seen Benfica leap over Barcelona and into second spot of their Champions League group going into their last group game in December at home against Dynamo Kiev. The miss was so upsetting that I could not even write about the game yesterday as like many Benfica fans I required a cool off period.

The good news for Benfica, Seferovic and the fans is that Benfica still have a shot at second place for a spot in the round of 16 but will require a little help from German giants Bayern Munich. The simple equation for qualification is that Benfica need a win against Dynamo Kiev and require a loss or draw by Barcelona in Munich, if Benfica fail to win they will head over to the Europa League. Benfica does hold the tiebreaker over Barcelona from their head to head encounters if the two clubs are to finish tied in points.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Benfica face biggest test of the season to date

Benfica Blog
Benfica travel to Spain to take on Barcelona in Champions League action on Tuesday in what may very well be the deciding game of who gets out of the group stage joining Bayern Munich in the round of 16 as both clubs look to get the better of the other. The two clubs are separated by just two points with Barcelona in front but Benfica go into the Catalonia capital, confident after trashing the Spanish giants in Lisbon 3-0 in their first group game encounter.

Simply said a Barcelona victory eliminates any hope of Benfica moving on from the group stage to the lucrative round of 16, while a draw will require Benfica to win their final game at home against Dynamo Kiev and rely on the help of group leaders Bayern Munich to avoid a loss at the hands of Barcelona on their own home turf. Benfica could make the matter simple by just winning their final two group stage games which will get them into the round of 16 for the first time since the 2016/17 edition.

Benfica will face a Barcelona squad lead by a new man on the sidelines after the dismissal of manager Ronald Koeman, as club legend Xavi has taken over the role, managing in just his first game yesterday. This game may very well come down to tactics over skill as can the wily veteran Jorge Jesus get the better of the young road runner Xavi in a game that means a huge deal to both clubs and fan bases.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Benfica to test Andre Almeida at center back

Benfica Blog
Benfica are flirting with the idea of giving right back Andre Almeida a shot in the center back position to help fill the void caused by the season ending injury suffered to regular starter Lucas Verissimo. Benfica will look to add a center back when the transfer window opens but with a flurry of games over the next six weeks, Benfica will be looking within its squad to shore up the back end until then.

Almeida is Benfica's longest serving player, joining the club in the summer of 2011 and has appeared in 291 games across all competitions, scoring eleven goals while adding forty-one helpers. The move would give the 31 year old a chance at regular minutes with a log jam developing in the right back position as Benfica currently have the option of using up to five current rostered players at right back including Almeida.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Benfica not prepared to let Darwin leave for peanuts

Benfica Blog
With the January transfer window just around the corner the name of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez has started to heat up the news wire as some of Europe's bigger clubs have their names linked with the acquisition of the Uruguayan international. Benfica President Rui Costa has already made it clear that the club has no interest in moving the 22 year old during the winter window and that clubs will need to wait until the summer before the club would consider discussing any move away from Lisbon.

Nunez joined Benfica in the summer of 2020 for a club record €24M from Spanish club Almeria and has appeared in 57 games across all competitions, scoring 22 goals while setting up an additional 14. Nunez currently has a €150M buy out clause which would be difficult to meet due to the current financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic but Benfica also know that they have found a gem and any move away from Benfica will be a costly one for any club looking to land Nunez. Benfica at this time should be looking to land a minimum of €70M from any interested buyer and that total may grow if Nunez continues his fine form.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Jorge Jesus looks to Lazaro to play left back

Benfica Blog
Jorge Jesus has decided to tinker with his squad while the international break is on and has decided to try Inter Milan loanee Valentino Lazaro at left back in the clubs recent training game this week against Amadora. Jesus played the game in a 4-4-2 formation and had starting left back Alex Grimaldo playing more of a midfield role with Lazaro behind him in a defensive role.

The 25 year old Lazaro is just returning to action after being out of the line up for a month while he dealt with a muscle injury suffered in the club's Taca de Portugal game against Trofense. The new look formation and Lazaro's position change just enforces that manager Jesus is not happy with current back up Gil Dias in the role. The versatile Lazaro has appeared in six games for the club across all competitions this season.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Benfica in talks with Corinthians for center back

Benfica Blog

Benfica have been linked with Corinthians center back Joao Vitor according to reports coming from Brazilian news outlet UOL and have already commenced talks with the Brazilian club about a loan move with an option to buy in January. Benfica are looking to land a replacement for center back Lucas Verissimo who is out of action for the remainder of the season.

Vitor has been with the Corinthians organization since the winter of 2017 and has appeared in 41 games across all competitions for the main club without scoring a goal while setting up one. The 23 year old has been a regular in Corinthians starting line up this season after spending last season on loan with Atletico Goianiense. Corinthians does only own 55% of the players rights and it is said Benfica could land that portion for €5M.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Benfica should look to league to fill injury

Benfica Blog
Benfica will be looking to acquire a center back when the winter transfer window opens in January after the season ending injury to Lucas Verissimo suffered in Week 11's victory over Braga. Verissimo's loss leaves a hole in Benfica's back line which plays three center backs regularly in their starting eleven. Benfica still have current starters Otamendi and Vertonghen healthy at the moment but both players are on the wrong side of 30 and susceptible to injury. Benfica's other options are 20 year old Morato and rarely seen 24 year old Ferro which does not provide confidence if the club succumbs to more injuries on the back end.

Benfica has been linked with a loan move once again with Barcelona's rarely used center back Samuel Umtiti but the club may be wise to look at more affordable options from within the Portuguese League who are accustomed to the style of play. Two names that come to mind and look to be a good fit with the club are Pacos Ferreira's Maracas and Estoril's Lucas Africo. The two players have played in Portugal since 2019 and are key cogs in their respective clubs back line. Maracas who is 27 years old and Africo who is 26 would provide the added insurance if the club were to lose additional players from their back line for extended periods of time.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Benfica suffer losses in big Braga win

Benfica Blog
Benfica played their best game in weeks in what amounted to a crushing 6-1 victory handed to Braga during Week 11 action in Portugal but the victory left a bitter taste in the mouths of the club and fans with Benfica suffering four injuries to players that have been regularly used in the starting eleven by manager Jorge Jesus. The worst of the four injuries is the loss of center back Lucas Verissimo after he suffered a right knee injury that will require surgery and end the 26 year old's season.

Joao Mario and Rafa Silva also suffered injuries in the victory and have been both dismissed from the Portugal national side, with Joao Mario suffering a back injury while Rafa suffered a muscle injury to his right thigh. The final injury was to striker Darwin Nunez who sustained a tendon injury to his right knee and he has also been dismissed from the Uruguay national side, the club has yet to provide how long the three will be out of action but with a Barcelona encounter in the Champions League just a couple of weeks away, here is hoping it is not too long.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Seferovic returns to face Braga

Benfica Blog
The return of Swiss striker Haris Seferovic from injury could not come at a better time for the club with the current struggles of Ukraine striker Roman Yaremchuk over the last few weeks. Seferovic has been out of action since suffering a muscle injury, last appearing with Benfica at the end of August and has played just 52 minutes this season. Seferovic who led the club in goals last season should commence the game on the bench but will be looked upon to make an entry likely in the second half in place of Yaremchuk who has failed to find the back of the net since the end of September, a span of 480 minutes. Seferovic has scored 69 times for Benfica in 175 career appearances across all competitions and won the league's golden boot during the 2018-19 season.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Benfica linked to Chapecoense defender

Benfica Blog
Benfica are in talks with Brazilian club Chapecoense for 17 year old central defender Tiago Coser, according to reports coming out of Brazil. The two clubs have been in deep discussions about a move for the youngster but the club has yet to have any talks with Coser about a potential contract to move to Lisbon. Despite Coser's age he has already made 11 appearances with Chapecoense and could cost the Eagles €1.5M to acquire the defender's rights. If the two clubs can come to an agreement Coser would likely join Benfica B in January to commence his career in Lisbon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Bayern get the best of Benfica again

Benfica Blog
Benfica traveled to Munich for their fourth game of their Champions League group stage campaign and suffered the same result against Bayern that they sustained at home except Bayern did not take 70 minutes to open the scoring in this encounter. Benfica did score a pair of goals in the 5-2 drubbing and were outscored 9-2 and out classed over their two games with the German giants. Benfica's loss coupled by Barcelona's win in Kiev also saw the club drop to third spot in the group and out of a round of 16 slot with two games left in the competition.

Bayern's victory sees them clinch a spot in the round of 16 as they sit a top the group with a perfect record, while Benfica will next travel to Barcelona on the 23rd of this month in what looks like a must win final two games if they are to advance out of the group stage. Benfica's final game will take place at home against Dynamo Kiev on the 8th of December but with Bayern likely to rest key squad members in their final game with Barcelona, the Eagles should not count on getting any helping hand in that manner.


                 Benfica                                Bayern Munich                                            

                     35%        Ball Possession           65%

                      7              Total shots               24

                      8           Chances created          27

                     269        Accurate Passes          583

                      1                Corners                   9

                      4                Offsides                   3

                      2            Shots on Target           12 


Monday, November 1, 2021

Benfica head to Munich for another bashing

Benfica Blog
Benfica are in Munich awaiting to take on German giants Bayern Munich once again in Champions League action after suffering a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Bayern the last time out at the Estadio da Luz. Benfica go into this game in poor form, having gone 2-2-2 in their last six competitive games across all competitions after defeating Barcelona 3-0 in the competition. Benfica's two victories have come against minnows Trofense in the Taca de Portugal which went into additional extra time and a last gasp win in league play over Vizela.

Benfica's run has cost them top spot in Portugal and the club goes into tomorrow's game as heavy underdogs to even escape Munich with a draw. Jorge Jesus has not used much of a rotation this season and with five players already over 1400 minutes of action, the manager looks set to burn out his top stars before we even get to 2022. Jesus would be wise to go into this game with fresh legs and save some of his key performers for this weekend's crucial league game against Braga at home. This could see the club get a bashing in Munich but it is no different then the majority of club who face them.