UCL matchday 1: Benfica – Beşiktaş

Updated: September 12, 2016

UEFA Champions League
SL Benfica (POR) – Beşiktaş JK (TUR)
Location: Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Referee: MIlorad Mažić (SER)
Date: Tuesday, September 13th
Time: 21:45 (GMT+2)
Channel: TRT 1 (link)
Gropu B Matchday 1

Tomorow’s UEFA Champions League Group B match at the Estádio da Luz between SL Benfica and Beşiktaş has been labelled “the clash of Eagles”. The Black Eagles are back int he UCL group stages for the first time since the 2009/10 season when they ended in a disappointing fourth spot with 4 points.

Beşiktaş have been drawn in a relatively favourable group with Benfica, Napoli and Dynamo Kyiv, we have taken an in depth look at all teams in Group B in collaboration with “Planet Benfica”, “Il Napolista” and “Futbol Ukraine”, for that article please click here.


Kostas Mitroglou is the latest Benfica player who will have to miss the game due to injury

The Black Eagles are back in Lisbon once again after last season’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Sporting CP in the Europa League group stages. Beşiktaş will hope to get atleast a point from tomorow’s match to start off the group stages on a positive result. But it certainly won’t be easy as the Portuguese Champions are an experienced formidable opponent.

Fortunately for Beşiktaş the hosts currently have a washlist of injuries including both main strikers Jonas and Kostas Mitroglou. Another key man the Portuguese are missing is Raúl Jiménez while midfielder Rafa Silva and defender Jardel are also ruled out for the match.


Ricardo Quaresma is fully focussed for the clash of Eagles having been rested this weekend during the game against Karabükspor

Especially having to do without the pair of Mitroglou and Jonas, who scored an incredible 61 goals last season in all competitions spread over the two of them, will certainly have an impact on Benfica’s attacking third.

To add insult to injury coach Rui Vitória will have to watch the game from the stands following his ejection last season in the quarter-finals against Bayern München.

The Black Eagles on the other hand have no major injury concerns and managed to rest several key players over the weekend ahead of their clash with Benfica. Although many fans won’t be happy seeing goalkeeper Tolga Zengin return between the sticks on Tuesday as Fabri put in a solid performance over the weekend against Karabükspor.

Beşiktaş have several players who are familiar with Benfica and Portuguese football in particular so that may also give them an edge. Ricardo Quaresma already seems extremely motivated and he’ll be one of the players that could mean the key to this match for the Black Eagles.

Given the injury plague that has hit Benfica hard, Beşiktaş won’t have a better chance to hit the ground running in this season’s edition of the Champions League. If they want to have any chance of proceeding to the next round they’ll need to secure a positive result tomorow night against one of the favourites in Group B.

Benfica predicted XI:

Júlio Cesar; Álex Grimaldo – Victor Lindelöf – Lisandro Lopez – Nelson Semedo; Pizzi – André Horta – Ljubomir Fejsa – Salvio; Gonçalo Guedes – André Carrillo

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Tolga Zengin; Gökhan Gönül – Marcelo Guedes – Dusko Tosic – Adriano Correia; Atiba Hutchinson – Gökhan Inler – Oguzhan Özyakup; Ricardo Quaresma – Caner Erkin – Cenk Tosun

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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