International Champions Cup: Benfica vs Lyon – Lineups, Preview & Prediction
The Portuguese runners-up meet France’s third placed team as the ICC comes to Portugal.
Action Images via REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
21:00 BST, Wednesday 1st August (Estadio Algarve, Portugal)
Having played two games in America, Benfica return to Portugal for their final match of the International Champions Cup against Lyon. The match is due to take place at Estadio Algarve, located between Faro and Loule, kicking off at 21:00 local time.
The French team replaced Sevilla due to the Spanish club’s early Europa League qualifiers and Spanish Super Cup commitments. This is their International Champions Cup debut – from here they’ll travel to Lecce, Italy to play Inter Milan and London, England to play Chelsea.
Rui Vitoria will be using this friendly as the final piece of preparation for Benfica before their crucial two-legged Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce.
Last Time Out
Benfica 1 – 1 Juventus (Juventus win 4-2 on penalties) [International Champions Cup]
Having defeated Dortmund on penalties, Benfica lost their second shootout against the Italian champions at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
Max Allegri fielded an under-strength line-up, without new marquee signing Cristiano Ronaldo, yet they still had the experience of Claudio Marchisio, Giorgio Chiellini, Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira from the start, and the likes of Emre Can, Medhi Benatia and Alex Sandro emerging from the bench.
There was a glimpse of the future for Benfica, as new striker Facundo Ferreyra, signed from Shakhtar Donetsk, was given a run-out to form an all-Argentinian front three alongside Franco Cervi and Eduardo Salvio.
But the new striker’s appearance was cut short after clashing heads with his own teammate, Mario Jardel, and stretchered off with a neck brace. He was replaced by another summer acquisition, Chilean forward Nicolas Castillo, but it was to be fullback Alex Grimaldo who scored for Benfica, with a delightfully dipped free-kick.
It was cancelled out shortly before full-time with an exceptional strike from Luca Clemenza. The 21-year-old youth product smashed an effort after a short dribble, hitting the underside of the crossbar as it flew past Odisseas Vlachodimos.
Jonas and Joao Felix missed their penalties in the shootout, as Juventus scored four out of four.
Lyon 2-1 Wolfsburg [Friendly]
After the women’s team closed their campaign by exerting their dominance over the German side in Kyiv’s Lobanovskyi stadium, winning a third straight Champions League, Lyon’s men did the same as they began preparations for the 2018/19 season, albeit in a game with no real meaning.
Nabil Fekir, still with Lyon after his transfer to Liverpool fell through, didn’t feature as he recuperates following France’s World Cup triumph. It was a largely second-string Lyon team, though two new arrivals got off the mark.