After coming away from Paris empty-handed, Juventus will now host Benfica in the second matchday of the Champions League group stage.
Although it’s still early days, this clash is crucial for both clubs in their quest to secure a spot in the knockout stages. Even prior to the defeat at le Parc des Princes, Max Allegri shamelessly identified the Portuguese as his side’s direct rivals for the runner-up spot.
So let’s have a closer look at three dangerous Benfica players that the Bianconeri must look out for.
Nicolas Otamendi (Centre Back)
On big European nights, experience plays a vital role, and having a veteran defender who can marshal the backline is always a major advantage – Remember Villarreal’s Raul Albiol from last season?
Luckily for the Eagles, they’re able to rely on the unyielding Nicolas Otamendi at the heart of their defense. The skipper will put all his prowess and experience into play as he tries to make life miserable for Dusan Vlahovic and Arkadiusz Milik.
Alex Grimaldo (Left-Back)
In recent weeks, Alex Grimaldo emerged as a primary candidate to solve the Old Lady’s left-back woes once his contract expires at Benfica.
But the next campaign remains far ahead, and at the moment, the Spaniard remains a dangerous opponent for Allegri’s men.
The Barcelona youth product is a major threat when darting the flanks, and would surely present a tricky challenge for Juan Cuadrado, or whoever faces him on the lane.
Rafa Silva (Second Striker)
The 29-year-old has been fighting for Benfica’s cause since 2016. But he appears to be taking his game up a notch at the moment.
Silva already has three league goals and two assists to his name this season, while also finding the back of the net against Maccabi Haifa last week.
This man has all the tricks and skills to inflict some damage upon our defenses.