The hosts got the better of Newcastle 3-2 in a pre-season friendly last Wednesday, while Midtjylland thrashed Odense Boldklub 5-1 in a Danish Superliga fixture two days later.
Benfica will host FC Midtjylland in the first leg of their third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League at Estadio da Luz on Tuesday night. Both sides are heading into the match on the back of victories in their last outings. The hosts got the better of Newcastle 3-2 in a pre-season friendly last Wednesday, while Midtjylland thrashed Odense Boldklub 5-1 in a Danish Superliga fixture two days later. Midtjylland reached this far in the Champions League qualification by overcoming AEK Larnaca 4-3 on penalties in the previous round after the aggregate score was locked at 2-2. The Eagles, on the other hand, finished third in Portugal’s top flight last term to book a spot in the third round of Champions League qualification.
— SL Benfica (@slbenfica_en) August 1, 2022
Benfica had a brilliant pre-season, winning all five friendlies against the likes of Reading (2-0), Nice (3-0), Fulham (5-1), Girona (4-2) and Newcastle. The last game against the Magpies was a tight affair, but Goals from Goncalo Ramos, Alejandro Grimaldo and Henrique Araujo helped the Portuguese outfit secure the win. Roger Schmidt’s side impressed in the Champions League last term, finishing second in the group that included Barcelona and Bayern Munich, overcame Ajax in the last-16 stage before losing 6-4 on aggregate to Liverpool in the quarterfinal tie.
Midtjylland, on the other hand, finished second in the Danish top flight last term, to earn a spot in the second round of the Champions League qualifier. The Wolves are also already three games into their 2022-23 domestic league season, registering one win, one draw and a defeat. In their last game against OB, Anders Dreyer netted a brace, while Gustav Isaksen, Sory Kaba, Pione Sisito scored one goal each to earn three points. The Danish outfit competed in the 2020-21 Champions League group stage, finishing fourth in Group D consisting of Liverpool, Ajax and Atalanta BC.
Benfica’s pre-season friendlies are over and Tuesday’s game is going to be their first competitive fixture of the summer. Therefore, Schmidt is likely to opt for his strongest starting eleven. New recruits Neres and Fernandes could find a place in the playing eleven, while Musa is expected to lead the line. Veteran defenders Otamendi and Vertonghen are likely to play in the central defence. As for Midtjylland, Gustav Isaksen, Anders Dreyer and Chilufya could form the attacking-trio. Anderson and Paulinho are expected to occupy the flanks.
Benfica probable starting lineup: Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Fernandez, Weigl; Neres, Ramos, H Araujo; Musa.
FC Midtjylland probable lineup: Olafsson; Dalsgaard, Sviatchenko, Juninho; andersson, Onyedika, Charles, Paulinho; Chilufya, Dreyer, Isaksen
The Champions League qualification match between Benfica and Midtjylland will take place at Estadio da Luz on Wednesday at 12:30 am IST.
|Benfica vs FC Midtjylland||Key details|
|Date||August 2 (Portugal)|
|Venue||Estadio da Luz|
|Kickoff time in Portugal||8:00 pm (Tuesday)|
|Kickoff time in Denmark||9:00 pm (Tuesday)|
Live coverage of the match is available on DIRECTV Sports network.