Our match prediction:
Portugal heavyweights Benfica have been presented with yet another favourable group in the Champions League having been pitted against Besiktas, Dynamo Kyiv and Napoli. Looking to eclipse last season’s tally of 10 points, the Eagles will be keen to make a flying start against the Turkish opposition and we are prone to making a prediction of a home win for this occasion. Being a more seasoned side in the competition and a team with more individual talent than their rivals, Benfica are heading into their UCL opener eager to extend their positive run in the new season and build up on back-to-back away wins at Nacional and Arouca, respectively. Besiktas have endured mixed fortunes at the start of the new season and their trip to Portugal is most likely to bring disappointment to Senol Gunes’ side. Besiktas have won only two of their last six matches on the road and the midweek match will hardly bring improvement to the tally.
Highligted Player (Lisandro Lopez):
Lisandro Lopez is an Argentine defender who joined Portugal giants Benfica in 2013 on a five-year deal from the Argentine side Arsenal de Sarandi. Once considered a huge prospect, Lisandro Lopez was linked with a move to Arsenal, AC Milan and Malaga before his move to Portugal. The 26-year-old defender however failed to live up to the expectations so far with the Aguias having made only 23 Primeira Liga appearances in three years with the Portugal giants. Lisandro Lopez was initially loaned out to Spanish La Liga side Getafe where he played 27 games during the 2013-14 season. Brought back on a promise of first-team football, Lopez did not quite manage to establish himself as a first-team regular as he was sparingly used during the previous two seasons in Portugal. The Argentine defender did play some part in Benfica’s European challenges having managed 4 Champions League appearances so far.
Highlighted Team (Besiktas):
Besiktas football club is one of the most successful teams in Turkey. Since its foundation in 1903, Besiktas have never been relegated to a lower rank of Turkish football. Black Eagles as they are known in Turkey play their matches at the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul which is an almost 42,000 all-seater capacity venue. Considered one of the top three football clubs in the country, Besiktas are the 14-time Super Lig champions who are entering the Champions League group stage in the 2016-17 season looking to make their presence known at the European scene. Besiktas have played in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League four times already, and are yet to progress through to the knockout sgateg in the competition that was established in today’s format in 1992. Their most outstanding European achievements of the Turkish side are the European Cup and UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1987 and 2003, respectively. During their rich history the Black Eagles have also won 9 Turkish Cups and 8 national Super Cup titles.