Our prediction for this match:
Benfica and Lille face each other in a pre-season friendly at Estadio Do Algavre. The Eagles have been producing fine displays in pre-season, and they head into the match following a 2-1 win over Almeria. Haris Seferovic, who returned to the squad at the weekend, is widely expected to return to the starting XI, as well as Germany international Luca Waldschmidt. Les Dogues, on the other hand, have been having their ups and downs in pre-season.
The Ligue 1 title holders defeated Waasland-Beveren, shared the spoils with Kortrijk, while losing to Gent. Tunisia international Yusuf Yazici, who found the net in the 1-1 draw with Kortrijk, is pushing for a start, while Djalo and Xeka are unlikely to feature in Thursday’s friendly after the duo was sent off in the last warm-up game. Anyhow, a close encounter is on the cards at Estadio Do Algavre, and we are tempted to put our money on draw.
Highlighted Player (Jan Vertonghen):
After spending four years at Ajax, in 2006 Jan Vertonghen signed a loan deal with RKC Waalwijk. The left-footed defender spent one season at Mandemakers Stadion and he returned to Ajax for the 2007/2008 season. The highly rated footballer, who is capable of playing as both centre back and left back, signed a deal with Tottenham Hotspur on 8 July, 2012 and he has been playing for the Premier League outfit ever since.
The Belgian defender scored four goals for the Spurs in the 2012/2013 Premier League season and he made 34 league appearances for the White Hart Lane outfit back then. In the 2015/2016 season Jan Vertonghen and his teammates were producing brilliant displays with Tottenham, but the Spurs eventually finished the campaign in third place in the standings.
Speaking of his international career, Vertonghen made it to both World Cup (2014) and Euro (2016) quarter-finals with the Belgian national team. Jan was born on 24 April, 1987 and his shirt number is 5.
Highlighted Team (Lille):
Lille have been playing an important role in French football ever since they were founded in 1944. Les Dogues won their first domestic trophy in the 1945/1946 season.
Lille did well to win their second Ligue 1 title in 1954 and 57 years later they lifted their last domestic title. Les Douges finished the 2010/2011 season in top position in the standings, eight points clear of second-placed Olympique Marseille and it has to be noted that Lille attacker Moussa Sow won the Golden Boot (25 goals).
Lille are one of the two teams that managed to win three consecutive Coupe de France trophies (1946, 1947, 1948), but they have yet to clinch the Coupe de la Ligue title. Les Dogues faced PSG in the 2015/2016 Coupe de la Ligue trophy, but les Parisiens proved to be a big catch for Frederic Antonetti’s team in the title game.
Lille play their home matches at Stade Pierre-Mauroy and the capacity of the stadium is 50.186. The venue was opened in August, 2017 and the construction cost €282 million.