International Champions Cup: Benfica vs Juventus – Lineups, Preview & Prediction

These two sides won their first games in the International Champions Cup as they prepare for their league campaigns.

REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

18:00 BST, Saturday 28th July, Red Bull Arena (New Jersey, USA)

Juventus have arguably put themselves in the position as the best side in Europe after a superb summer transfer window that has seen them secure Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Favilli, Douglas Costa permanently and Emre Can amongst many others.

Not only are they the top side in Italy, eyes will be on them in Europe as they look to secure a first Champions League trophy since 1996.

Benfica, on the other hand, have work to do if they are to reclaim their title. They had won it four times in a row, but lost out last season to FC Porto. 

Both sides have aspirations to win honours this coming season and the International Champions Cup gives them a good measuring stick to see how far away they are from success.

Last Time Out

Benfica 2-2 Borussia Dortmund (Benfica won 4-3 on penalties)

An entertaining affair in Pittsburgh saw Benfica claw their ways from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Borussia Dortmund.

Maximilian Philipp netted twice in two first-half minutes to give Dortmund a commanding lead. But, a breadth of substitutes throughout the game – both sides made ten changes – altered the course of the game as Benfica got themselves back level through Andre Almeida and Alfa Semedo.

A penalty shootout came and the Portuguese side were able to see the Germans off, winning 4-3 from the penalty spot.

Juventus 2-0 Bayern Munich

Bayern were without a lot of their German contingent of players as they are still on a break from the World Cup which meant that it was not surprising to see them fall rather easily to Juventus.

Favilli, a new signing from Ascoli, had the dream debut as he scored twice in the first half to give Juventus a comfortable lead. 

Both sides made considerable substitutions throughout the game, but the Old Lady never looked troubled as they held on for a victory. 

Benfica Lineup

Will Benfica make any changes from their draw with Borussia Dortmund? It is hard to know, but we think they could stick to what they started with against Juventus.

Juventus Lineup

Emre Can will surely start as he slowly beds into the Juventus side. Favilli netted twice last time out so expect him to keep his place against Benfica. 

Key Nattle: Nicolas Castillo (Benfica) vs Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

Benfica recently signed Castillo from Pumas after he netted 24 goals in 32 games for the Mexican side. They will need him to keep up that form this coming season if they are to have any expectations of getting far in Europe and to regain their domestic title.

Chiellini is always a crucial cog to Juventus and his defensive displays have been key to the Old Lady’s success over the last ten years.

In this game, Castillo will get the chance to test himself against the best defender in football while Chiellini will be look to prove that he is still at the top of his game ahead of the regular season. 

Talking Points

Winning without Ronaldo

Can Juventus become more than Team Ronaldo? That will be the danger in the coming season as they will rely on him to be at his brilliant best if they are to secure domestic and European honours. 

Ronaldo will not feature against Benfica, but their fans will be watching intently to see how he will fit into their side. 

Portuguese football rebirth

It has been 14 years since Porto won the Champions League and since then domestic football in Portugal has struggled in European competitions.

Benfica arguably have the best chance of any side in Portugal of going far in a European competition and therefore this competition gives them a marker of how far away they are from Europe’s elite. 

Yes, this is a preseason friendly, but it is a good measuring stick for both sides.

Prediction: Benfica 1-1 Juventus

Both sides played well in game one of the competition and therefore it is hard to see past a draw in this game. However, it could rest on how many substitutions are made and whether both sides can keep their shape.

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