International Preview: Injury curse continues to haunt Benfica

Pizzi

Domestic football pauses for another international break this week, and as usual, a raft of Benfica stars have been called up to represent their respective national teams. However, three senior players have already been ruled out due to injury. Read on to find out who will be travelling and who will be staying in Lisbon.




Highlights: Rio Ave 1 - 1 Benfica




Squad List: Rio Ave x Benfica

Rui Vitória has rung the changes for Saturday's visit to in-form Rio Ave. Júlio César, Andrija Zivković and Filip Krovinović return from injury, while Andreas Samaris is back after serving his four-match suspension.

Martin Chrien and Aurélio Buta have both been dropped, with the latter linked with a loan move away from the club. André Almeida has shaken off a knock picked up against former club Belenenses, but Eduardo Salvio has been ruled out with a right knee injury. He joins Álex Grimaldo (right leg), Ljubomir Fejsa (right leg) and Kostas Mitroglou (left thigh) on the sidelines.

Saturday's top-of-the-table clash at the Estádio dos Arcos begins at 20:30 local time.

Goalkeepers: Júlio César, Paulo Lopes and Bruno Varela

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

Midfielders: Filipe Augusto, Samaris, Krovinović, Pizzi, Willock, Cervi, João Carvalho, Diogo Gonçalves, Živković and Rafa Silva

Forwards: Raúl, Jonas and Seferović




Champions League draw yields reunion with Mourinho, Lindelöf and Matić

Victor lindelöf

Benfica’s 2017/18 UEFA Champions League opponents have been revealed after the group stage draw was held in Monaco on Thursday. The Encarnados were drawn in Group A alongside three-time European Cup winners and last season’s Europa League victors Manchester United, Swiss champions FC Basel, and Russian Premier League runners-up CSKA Moscow.




Highlights: Benfica 5 - 0 Belenenses




Squad List: Benfica x Belenenses

Rui Vitória has made three changes to the squad he selected for Monday night's win over Chaves. Rúben Dias has been dropped, but Aurélio Buta has been recalled. Ljubomir Fejsa has been ruled out with a right leg injury and Andreas Samaris is serving the final game of his four-match suspension, so Filipe Augusto or André Almeida should start in midfield.

Also in the treatment room are Júlio César (left leg), Álex Grimaldo (right leg), Andrija Zivković (right thigh) and Kostas Mitroglou (left thigh). Filip Krovinović is still recovering from hernia surgery. André Carrillo and André Horta are both absent, and are expected to depart the club on loan in the coming days.

Saturday's match at the Estádio da Luz gets underway at 20:30 local time.

Goalkeepers: Paulo Lopes and Bruno Varela

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

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

Forwards: Raúl, Jonas and Seferović




Highlights: Chaves 0 - 1 Benfica




Opinion: The lowdown on GD Chaves

Eduardo Salvio

Benfica face GD Chaves at the Estádio Municipal de Chaves on Monday night, to round off Matchweek 2 of the Liga NOS. How are the northern outfit shaping up ahead of the match? To find out, we chatted with Brandon, curator of the English-language newsfeed @GDChavesWorld.




Squad List: Chaves x Benfica

Rui Vitória is expected to keep faith with the starting eleven that defeated Braga on Wednesday night. Benfica are still without the injured Júlio César (left leg), Álex Grimaldo (right leg), Andrija Zivković (right thigh), André Horta (left knee) and Kostas Mitroglou (left thigh).

André Carrillo (right knee) and Filip Krovinović (hernia) are not on the official injury list, but are still not 100% fit. Andreas Samaris is suspended. Rúben Dias comes in for Aurélio Buta, while Chris Willock is recalled.

Monday night's game at the Estádio Municipal de Chaves begins at 21:00 local time.

Goalkeepers: Paulo Lopes and Bruno Varela

Defenders: Lisandro, Luisão, Eliseu, Jardel, André Almeida and Rúben Dias

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

Forwards: Raúl, Jonas and Seferović




Contract renewals for Portuguese trio

Andre Almeida

Benfica have tied down three of their Portuguese players to new long-term contracts. 26-year-old full-back André Almeida, whose previous deal ran until 2019, has put pen to paper on a two-year extension, while Benfica B starlets José "Zé" Gomes and João Filipe have both signed five-year contracts.




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