Our prediction for this Champions League match:
There will be fireworks when PAOK and Benfica face each other at Stadio Toumbas in the Champions League play-off, return leg. Benfica were on the verge of beating PAOK in Lisbon, but the Greeks eventually managed to score the equalizer and grab something from the match. A goalless draw in Wednesday’s football match will see PAOK book their place in the Champions League group stages and we predict that the hosts are going to adopt a defence-minded approach in the second leg. The Eagles, on the other hand, have no other choice but go all guns blazing at the Greek vice-champions, meaning that an interesting game is on the cards. Seeing that Razvan Lucescu’s men are tough to beat at home, we believe that the two sides are going to play out yet another draw in the Champions League qualifiers. Taking everything into account, the game is likely to go into extra-time.
Highlighted Player (Vieirinha):
Better known as Vieirinha, Adelino Andre Vieira de Freitas originates from Guimaraes, and it was at Vitoria Guimaraes that he spent seven years before joining FC Porto academy in 2002. Despite getting promoted to the senior side in 2005, the winger was never given a chance to impress at Estadio do Dragao and following several loan spells, he opted to sign for Greek giants PAOK.
Vieirinha clearly profited from exposure to first team football, scoring 18 goals in 78 league matches for the club. His impressive displays did not go unnoticed and Wolfsburg soon came calling. Despite arriving at the club as a right winger, the Portuguese footballer was eventually converted to right-back near the end of the 2014/2015 season and has since impressed in his new position.
After representing his country at various youth levels, Vieirinha received his first call-up to the senior squad in November 2011, but he had to wait until March 2013 to be handed his debut. The experienced footballer, nonetheless, secured his place in the 2014 World Cup squad, making one appearance at the tournament finals.
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.