Our prediction for this Champions League match:
All eyes will be on Ulker Stadyumu Fenerbahce Sukru when Fenerbahce and Benfica face each other in the Champions League third qualifying round, return leg. The Turks suffered a 1-0 loss to the Portuguese side in Lisbon, meaning that they need to record a big win over the Eagles if they are to book their place in the final qualifying round. However, Benfica are more of a team than Fenerbahce and we do not believe that home win should be considered. Rui Vitoria’s men are likely to have a number of chances to score on the break in the return leg and, taking everything into account, there is a certain value in betting on the away side. A man to watch in the home team will be Mathieu Valbuena, whilst Fenerbahce defenders should have Eduardo Salvio at bay.
Highlighted Player (Nabil Dirar):
Moroccan footballer Nabil Dirar is a left winger for AS Monaco. The 30-year-old Casablanca-born winger arrived at Monaco in 2012 from Belgian side Club Brugge, where he spent four seasons. A mainstay with the Belgian side, Dirar increasingly stood out by his on and off pitch behavior as the Morocco international was known to get in frequent altercations with opposing players, but his own teammates which had often resulted in Dirar being sent to train and play for the reserves. His €7.5 million sale to AS Monaco was the highest transfer fee ever received by Club Brugge. Nabil Dirar made a good use of the change of scenery by going on to become one of AS Monaco’s key performers. The 30-year-old winger racked up impressive nine Ligue 1 assists in 2015-16 season, prompting increased interest from European clubs. Serie A giants Lazio were reported to be interested in the Monaco player, who will have an important role to play during his club’s Champions League participation.
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.