13 September 2022
Benfica come into the match against Juventus with 11 victories in as many matches between the league and the Champions League. The team coached by Roger Schmidt have not missed a beat in this first part of the season, winning every match and scoring 28 total goals.
THEIR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PATH
To reach the group stage, the Andalusian team had to overcome two preliminary rounds: at the beginning of August they eliminated the Danes of Midtjylland, beating them both times: 4-1 in Lisbon and 3-1 away. They also progressed comfortably in the second qualification stage against Dynamo Kyiv, winning 2-0 in Poland and 3-0 at the Estadio da Luz. Finally, last Tuesday in their first match in Group H, of the Champions League proper, they won 2-0 at Maccabi Haifa, with both goals scored in the second half, first by Rafa Silva and then by Alejandro Grimaldo.
THE MANAGER: ROGER SCHMIDT
Born in Germany, in 1967, Roger Schmidt has been at the helm of Benfica since this summer. He previously coached PSV Eindhoven for the past two years, taking the Dutch team to second place twice behind Ajax in the Eredivisie. He left the Netherlands with two trophies: the 2021/2022 KNVB Cup and the 2021 Super Cup - won with a 4-0 win against Ajax. The Benfica coach began his coaching career in his homeland, in Paderborn, before sitting on the benches of Salzburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Beijing Guoan.
In their first 11 official matches, Benfica scored with 11 different players. Their top scorer is Gonçalo Ramos with six goals, a product of the red and white side's youth set-up. Behind him is Rafa Silva with five and then João Mário with four. The latter moved from Italy, wearing the Inter shirt in two different spells. The Brazilian, David Neres comes next with three goals, whom Juventus has already faced when he played at Ajax, when on 10 April 2019 in Amsterdam he scored the goal to make it 1-1 after Cristiano Ronaldo's initial opener.
The Portuguese squad includes many international players, including Spaniard, Grimaldo (watch out for his free-kicks), Argentine, Nicolás Otamendi (the captain, formerly of Manchester City) and German, Julian Draxler, who arrived on loan in the summer from Paris Saint-Germain.