Portuguese giants Benfica have a tough Europa League draw to navigate if they want to qualify for the round of 16 of the competition after they were drawn against Arsenal in the round of 32. The draw for the Europa League round of 32 was held on Monday afternoon and it pitted Benfica with the Gunners.
Ahead of the double legged game next year, Benfica and Arsenal are enjoying contrasting fortunes in their respective in their respective leagues. Benfica are second in the Portuguese topflight behind league leaders Sporting Lisbon after nine matches in the Portuguese Primeira Liga this term. Benfica have 21 points from the nine games played and are just two points off leaders Sporting Lisbon who have 23 points from the opening nine matches of the season.
New Benfica signing Jan Vertoghen has been mightily impressed with the quality of teammate HarisSeferovic as the two players prepare for battle on Wednesday night. They are expected to be on the opposing sides when Belgium play hosts to Switzerland in an international friendly scheduled to take place at the King Power Stadion in Leuven. Vertoghen will most likely be in the starting line-up for the Red Devils of Belgium, while HarisSeferovic is expected to lead the line for the Swiss team managed by Vladimir Petkovic.
Ahead of the game, ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Vertoghenspoke to Portuguese newspaper Record about his Benfica teammate. Vertoghen raved about his ability in front of goal as he recalled the damage the Swiss international attacker did to his country in their last meeting.
According to reports from England Manchester United have put Jesse Lingard up for sale. The Guardian reported that the playmaker has struggled for form for over two years and has not been able to hold down a regular place in the squad, not in the starting eleven nor the bench.
The January arrival of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon and the emergence of youngster Mason Greenwood have seen Lingard dropped down the pecking order. He really struggled this season, admitting off-field issues also hampered his focus.
Former Germany Sami Khedira is set to leave Juventus this summer following a five-year spell with the Old Lady. The world cup winner is attracting interest from Portugal and England. With West Ham and Benfica leading the race for the experienced midfielder.
Khedira joined Juve from Real Madrid in 2015 and has subsequently gone on to make 144 appearances in all competitions, winning four Serie A titles and three Coppa Italia trophies along the way.
Manchester City forward Leroy Sane remains top transfer target for German champions Bayern Munich. According to reports, Bayern Munich have opened discussion with top agent, Giovanni Branchini, over the possibility of signing the German international.
Leroy Sane is believed to be one of Germany’s biggest young stars, and Bayern Munich are understood to be keen to build their team around a player who has grown to be one the key players in Pep Guardiola’s impressive side.
Danny Ings was a subjected of speculation during the January transfer window deadline but instead is now being made to stay put with his club following the signing of OdionIghalo by Manchester United as a last-minute decision to make sure they do not finish the rest of the season with a sulky Anthony Martial leading the line and scoring goals based on how his mood swing dictates.
With the Ingsdeemed surplus to
requirement at Anfield, leaving and establishing himself at Southampton helped
him avoid slipping into the lower leagues, into oblivion with teams like
There is a popular saying in Portugal, in
Porto they work, while in Lisbon they Spend. Evidently,
Benfica is the most successful club in Portugal. The Lisbon giant have won the
League title 36 times, eight times more than Porto in second place.
They have also won two European trophies
before the famous Bella Guttman curse struck them. Bella didn’t say they won’t
make finals, but they won’t win finals, they have made a couple of finals since
then but they have failed to win any of it.