Our football match prediction:
Arsenal kick off their Emirates Cup campaign with a match against Benfica. The Gunners proved their worth in the victory (on penalties) over Bayern Munich at the 2017 International Champions Cup and that is giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of Saturday’s football match. Arsene Wenger’s troops aim to defend the trophy and we predict that the tournament hosts will leave their hearts on the field in their opener. New signing Alexandre Lacazette is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts against Benfica. The Eagles did well to win the domestic trophy last season, but considering that they experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 5-1 loss to Young Boys earlier in July, we do not believe that there is a big value in betting on the Portuguese outfit this time out. In their last meeting at the Emirates Cup Arsenal rolled over Benfica 5-1 and the history is likely to repeat itself.
Highlighted Player (Granit Xhaka):
Granit Xhaka is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most talented central midfielders at the moment and he is on the radar of quite a few high-profile sides. Just two seasons at FC Basel proved enough to attract interest from Borussia M’gladbach, who secured his signature in the summer of 2012. The Switzerland international had a slow start to his career in Germany, causing many pundits to start doubting his credentials, but he eventually turn things around to show he is more than capable of playing at the highest level. Acting as a deep-lying playmaker, Xhaka impressed fans and pundits alike with his performances in Bundesliga and European competitions, and he even managed to score a couple of important goals in the process. Despite his fragile age, the highly regarded footballer has been a key member of the Switzerland national team for quite some time now, scoring 6 goals in his first 40 caps to establish himself as a real leader of the Rossocrociati. The 2014 World Cup, where he scored one goal in four starts, should prove just the first of many major tournaments to come.
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.