The hosts are heading into the match on the back of a 4-1 win over Midtjylland in their first leg of the UEFA Champions League third round qualifying tie last Wednesday.
Benfica will host Arouca in the 2022-23 Portuguese Primeira Liga opener at the Estadio da Luz on Friday night. The hosts are heading into the match on the back of a 4-1 win over Midtjylland in their first leg of the UEFA Champions League third round qualifying tie last Wednesday. Arouca, on the other hand, played out a goalless draw against Chaves in their final pre-season friendly last Saturday. Benfica didn’t have a great domestic season last term, finishing third in the league standings, with 74 points from 34 games, 17 points behind champions FC Porto, while the visitors finished 15th in the table, with 31 points, just two clear of the relegation zone.
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In the mid-week, Benfica put four goals past Midtjylland courtesy of a hat-trick from Goncalo Ramos and one goal from Enzo Fernandez. The Eagles had an impressive pre-season, winning all of their friendlies against Reading, Nice, Fulham,Girona and Newcastle United. Roger Schmidt’s side managed to find the back of the net 17 times and conceded just five in those five friendlies. Benfica have now won each of their last seven games across all competitions and they will look to continue in the same vein and kickoff their 2022-23 league campaign on a positive note.
Arouca, on the other hand, began their pre-season with a 3-2 defeat to Braga before getting the better of Feirense 1-0 and then shared the spoils against Chaves. The Arouquenses recorded seven wins, 10 draws and lost 19 of their 34 games last season to pocket 31 points, just three points clear of Tondela in the automatic relegation zone. Armando Evangleista’s men would be hoping to start their domestic assignment on a high against the Eagles.
Benfica defender Lucas Verissimo is sidelined with a severe knee injury. Last game’s hat-trick hero Ramos is expected to lead the line with Neres and Silva in support. Fernandez, Luis and Mario could form the midfield-trio. Meanwhile Otamendi is likely to partner Morato in the heart of the defence. As for Arouca, Oday Dabbagh could be the target-man with Antony and Vitinho occupying the flanks and Ruiz deployed in a free role behind the striker.
Benfica probable starting lineup: Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Otamendi, Motato, Grimaldo; Fernandez, Luis, Mario; neres, Ramos, Silva
Arouca probable starting lineup: Zubas; Thales, Esgaio, Basso, Araujo; silva, Simao; Antony, Ruiz; Dabbagh
The Portuguese Primeira Liga fixture between Benfica and Arouca will take place at Estadio da Luz on Saturday at 12:45 am IST.
|Benfica vs Arouca||Key details|
|Date||August 5 (Portugal)|
|Venue||Estadio da Luz|
|Kickoff time in Portugal||8:15 pm|
|Kickoff time in India||12:45 am (Saturday)|
Live coverage of the match is available on Benfica TV and GolTV network.