Match Report: Benfica 3 - 1 Braga

Benfica got their title defence off to a near-perfect start by defeating Braga 3-1 at the Estádio da Luz on Wednesday night, in what was their opening league game of the 2017/18 season.




Highlights: Benfica 3 - 1 Braga




Squad List: Benfica x Braga

Rui Vitória has selected 20 players in his preliminary squad for Benfica's opening league game of the 2017/18 season against SC Braga.

Álex Grimaldo is unavailable after suffering a muscle strain in Saturday's Supertaça, so Aurélio Buta has been recalled to bolster the defence. Bruno Varela should keep his place in goal with Júlio César still struggling with a left leg injury.

Also in the treatment room are Andrija Zivković (right thigh), André Carrillo (right knee), André Horta (left knee) and Kostas Mitroglou (left thigh). Filip Krovinović is getting closer to a return after hernia surgery. Andreas Samaris is suspended and Chris Willock has been dropped.

Wednesday night's match at the Estádio da Luz commences at 21:00 local time.

Goalkeepers: Paulo Lopes and Bruno Varela

Defenders: Lisandro, Luisão, Eliseu, Jardel, André Almeida and Aurélio Buta

Midfielders: Fejsa, Filipe Augusto, Salvio, Pizzi, Cervi, Chrien, Diogo Gonçalves, João Carvalho and Rafa Silva

Forwards: Raúl, Jonas and Seferović




Benfiquistas around the Globe: Markus Horn




Squad List: Benfica x Vitória de Guimarães

Rui Vitória has named a 21-man squad for Benfica's 2017/18 curtain raiser: the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira.

Bruno Varela is expected to start with Júlio César unable to recover from a left leg injury. Andrija Zivković (right thigh), André Carrillo (right knee), André Horta (left knee) and Kostas Mitroglou (left thigh) are also unavailable. Filip Krovinović is still rebuilding his fitness after hernia surgery.

Vitória has included just six defenders in his preliminary squad, dropping Pereira, Buta, Dias, Kalaica and Hermes. Andreas Samaris is serving the first of a four-match suspension.

Saturday's game at the Estádio Municipal de Aveiro kicks off at 20:45 local time, and will be officiated by Artur Soares Dias.

Goalkeepers: Paulo Lopes and Bruno Varela

Defenders: Lisandro, Grimaldo, Luisão, André Almeida, Jardel and Eliseu

Midfielders: Fejsa, Filipe Augusto, Salvio, Pizzi, Cervi, Willock, Chrien, Diogo Gonçalves, Rafa Silva and João Carvalho

Forwards: Raúl, Jonas and Seferović




Scout Report: Santiago Ascacíbar

Rumours continue to swirl that Benfica intend to offload Andreas Samaris and replace him with Estudiantes starlet Santiago Ascacíbar. We spoke to South American football expert Jordan Russell to get the lowdown on the tenacious and talented young midfielder.




Squad List: Emirates Cup

33 players will take part in Benfica's preseason training camp in England. The squad will practise at St. George's Park, training base of England's national teams, from Monday to Friday, before competing in the Emirates Cup at the weekend.

Grimaldo, Pizzi and Raúl are included after returning from their summer vacations. André Almeida (thigh), Krovinović (hernia) and Salvio (ankle) have recovered from their respective injuries.

Fejsa, Zivković and Carrillo will arrive a day late due to visa issues. Arango has been dropped and is expected to be loaned out to Aves, Rio Ave or Chaves.

The Eagles face Arsenal on Saturday at 16:20 (UK/Portuguese time) and RB Leipzig on Sunday at 14:00. Both matches will be played at the Emirates Stadium.

Goalkeepers: Júlio César, Paulo Lopes and Bruno Varela

Defenders: Lisandro, Grimaldo, Luisão, Kalaica, Eliseu, Pedro Pereira, Jardel, André Almeida, Hermes, Rúben Dias and Aurélio Buta

Midfielders: Fejsa, Filipe Augusto, Samaris, André Horta, Salvio, Krovinović, Pizzi, Cervi, Willock, Chrien, Diogo Gonçalves, Zivković, Carrillo, João Carvalho and Rafa Silva

Forwards: Raúl, Jonas, Mitroglou and Seferović




Eliseu signs on for another season

Eliseu

Eliseu Pereira dos Santos, better known simply as Eliseu, has agreed a new one-year contract with Benfica, which ties him to the club until summer 2018. The 33-year old left-back, who turns 34 in October, was granted an extended vacation this summer due to his participation in the Confederations cup. He was due to report back to the club's Seixal training base on July 22nd, but returned early in order to sign his contract and play in the Algarve cup.




Squad List: Algarve Cup

Rui Vitória has selected 28 players to participate in the Algarve Cup. André Almeida is unavailable with a bruised right thigh, and is replaced by Benfica B right-back Aurélio Buta.

Luisão is fit again after recovering from a knee injury. Eliseu, Samaris, Zivković, João Carvalho and Mitroglou return after extended summer vacations, but Grimaldo, Raúl and Pizzi are still on holiday. Ferro, Pêpê and Heriberto have all rejoined Benfica B. Salvio (ankle) and Krovinović (hernia) remain sidelined.

Benfica face Real Betis on Thursday and Hull City on Saturday. Both games will take place at the Estádio do Algarve at 20:30 local time.

Goalkeepers: Júlio César, Paulo Lopes and Bruno Varela

Defenders: Lisandro, Luisão, Kalaica, Eliseu, Pedro Pereira, Jardel, Hermes, Rúben Dias and Aurélio Buta

Midfielders: Fejsa, Filipe Augusto, Samaris, André Horta, Carrillo, Zivković, Cervi, Willock, Chrien, Diogo Gonçalves, João Carvalho and Rafa Silva

Forwards: Jonas, Mitroglou, Seferović and Arango




Nélson Semedo seals Barcelona switch

Nélson Semedo

Benfica right-back Nélson Semedo has joined Barcelona, signing a five-year contract with the club ranked third in the latest UEFA rankings. The 23-year old fills a void that the Catalans have failed to satisfactorily address since the departure of Dani Alves to Juventus in June 2016.




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