Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Club Brugge play host to Benfica at their Jan Breydel Stadion in the Champions League last 16, first leg. The Blauw-Zwart impressed in the group stages, but, on the other hand, they have been struggling in the Belgian top flight this season. The good news for the hosts is that Denis Odoi is back from a domestic ban, while fellow midfielder Andreas Skov Olsen faces race against the clock to be fit for Wednesday’s clash.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are on the right track to regain the Primeira Liga title. Benfica are more of a team than Club Brugge, and seeing that key attacker Goncalo Ramos has recovered in time for the first leg, away win should be considered. Benfica boss Roger Schmidt has a full squad to choose from. It has to be noted that the two clubs meet for the first time in the elite competition
Highlighted Player (Simon Mignolet):
Simon Luc Hildebert Mignolet is a Belgium goalkeeper born on 6 March 1988 in Sint-Truiden. He began his career in a club from his hometown, making 100 league appearances for Sint-Truidense before moving to Sunderland in 2010.
Mignolet would go on to spent next four years at the Stadium of Light, making 90 Premier League appearances. As one of world’s most talented goalkeepers, the Belgium international signed for Liverpool in the summer of 2013, and he has since been the club’s first choice goalkeeper. Performing admirably most of the time, but also committing cheap mistakes at times, Mignolet has yet to win over the Liverpool fans, but remains highly regarded in his native country.
The talented shot-stopper has been a member of the Belgium national team since 2011, earning over 20 caps for the Red Devils, but he has been playing second fiddle to Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois over the last few years.
Highlighted Team (Benfica):
Member of the ‘Big Three’ clubs in Portugal alongside FC Porto and CP Sporting, Sport Lisboa e Benfica are the football club that has never been relegated from the Primeira Liga. The club is nicknamed Aguias because of the Eagle symbol atop the club’s crest. Benfica play their home games at the Estadio da Luz which replaced the original one in 2003 and which boasts the capacity of more than 64,000. Arguably the most successful club in Portugal, Benfica have won a record of 35 Primeira Liga titles and also a record 25 Taca de Liga and 7 Taca da Liga trophies.
Two-time European Cup winners, Benfica are the club known for their diligent work with youth players, many of which went on to make great careers abroad. The most prominent players to wear a Benfica shirt are legendary Eusebio, Manuel Bento, Jorge Tavares and most recently Javier Saviola, Nuno Gomes, David Luiz and Angel Di Maria.