Our prediction for this Champions League match:
All eyes will be on Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica when Benfica and Fenerbahce face each other in the Champions League round 3, first leg. The Eagles failed to win the national championship last season, but they still have a chance to represent Portugal in the elite competitions. It is well known that over the years Benfica have turned their Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica into a real fortress, but the hosts will have to prove their worth on the field. A man to watch in the home team will be experienced attacker Jonas, who was scoring goals for fun last term. Fenerbahce coach Philipp Cocu has a number of high-profile footballers to choose from, but Benfica are more of a team than Fenerbahce and that is the main reason why we are tempted to put our money on the hosts. You should bear in mind, though, that the Eagles are on a three-game losing run at home in the Champions League.
Highlighted Player (Andreas Samaris):
Greece international midfielder Andreas Samaris began his career playing for Panachaiki before his spells with Panionios and Olympiakos. SL Benfica is the first international experience for the 27-year-old player who arrived in Portugal in 2014.
A full international since 2013, Samaris represented Greece at the 2014 FIFA World Cup during which he managed to make his presence known and earn a move abroad. Andreas Samaris operates as a central midfield but is capable of filling in defensive midfielder role. Greek international was the mainstay for Benfica during his first two seasons at the club managing 46 Primeira Liga appearances during the period. He also added 12 Champions League appearances.
Andreas Samaras helped Benfica win two Primeira Liga titles, two Taca da Liga trophies and one Super Cup. Greek international was the regular performer for his national team during the unsuccessful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with ten games to his name.
Highlighted Team (Fenerbahce):
Fenerbahce are one of the biggest football clubs in Turkey. The Kanaryalar were founded on 3 May, 1907 as Fenerbahce Futbol Kulubu. Fener won their first domestic trophy in 1959 and they quickly established themselves as one of the main forces in Turkish football.
In 2014 Fenerbahce clinched their 19th league title, with the team finishing the season nine points clear of Besiktas. Galatasaray are considered Fener’s bitterest rivals and the two teams face each other in Kitalar Arasi Derbi. The rivalry between the clubs started back in 1934, when a friendly between the two teams was abandoned due to riots. Besiktas are regarded as Fenerbahce’s big rivals as well.
The likes of Mujdat Yetkiner, Zeki Riza Sporel, Aykut Kocaman, Emre Belozoglu, Alex, Nicolas Anelka, Diego Lugano, Roberto Carlos and Dirk Kuyt are famous footballers who played for the club in the past. The Kanaryalar play their home games at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, the venue that was opened in 1908. Fener’s home kits are navy blue and yellow.