Portuguese Primeira Liga champions Benfica will face Serie-A side Fiorentina in an International Champions Cup match on the 24th July. It will be a late midnight game for the Europeans and will be hosted by the Red Bull Arena of New Jersey. Both the sides have already played at least one game in this friendly competition. The Italian representatives have featured in two and won one and lost the another. The two parties have a similarity before this clash as they both managed to beat Mexican side Guadalajara in their respective matches. It will be the third outing for the Violas meanwhile the second appearance for the Aguilas.
- Participating Teams: Fiorentina vs Benfica
- Competition: International Champions Cup
- Date: 24th July (Local); (Day past late night in Europe)
- Time: 1 am BST; 12 am GMT (considered as 25th July)
- Day: Wednesday
- Venue Details: Red Bull Arena
- Location: 600 Cape May Street, Harrison, New Jersey
- Capacity: 25,000
- Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass
- Goalkeepers: Bartlomiej Dragowski, Pietro Terracciano, Niccolo Chierra, Michele Cerofolini.
- Defenders: German Pezzella, Lorenzo Venuti, Christian Biraghi, Nikola Milenkovic, Federico Ceccherini, Luka Ranieri, Aleksa Terzic, David Hancko, Jacob Rasmussen, Petko Hristov, Vitor Hugo.
- Midfielders: Salifu, Valentin Eysseric, Szymon Zurkowski, Bryan Dabo, Nicky Medja Beloko, Sebastian Cristoforo, Tofol Montiel, Gaetano Castrovilli, Marco Benassi, Erlad Lakti, Romaric.
- Forwards: Giovanni Simeone, Riccardo Saponara, Riccardo Sottil, Federico Chiesa, Jaime Baez, Dusan Vlahovic, Gabriele Gori, Cyril Thereau.
- Goalkeepers: Mile Svilar, Ivan Zlobin, Odisseas Vlachodimos.
- Defenders: German Conti, Alejandro Grimaldo, Ruben Dias, Jhonder Cadiz, Jardel, Nuno Tavares, Joao Ferreira, Ferro.
- Midfielders: Carlos Vinicius, Caio, Ljubomir Fejsa, Gabriel, Franco Cervi, Andrija Zivkovic, Chiquinho, Andreas Samaris, Tyronni Ebuehi, Rafa, Andre Almeida, Adel Taarabt, Florentino Luis, Gedson Fernandes, Tiago Dantas.
- Forwards: Raul de Tomas, Haris Seferovic, Pizzi, Jota.
Fiorentina last 5 Matches:
- 0-3 Defeat vs Arsenal
- 2-1 Win vs Guadalajara
- 0-0 Draw vs Genoa
- 0-1 Defeat vs Parma
- 0-1 Defeat vs AC Milan
Benfica last 5 Matches:
- 3-0 Win vs Guadalajara
- 4-1 Win vs Santa Clara
- 3-2 Win vs Rio Ave
- 5-1 Win vs Portimonense
- 4-1 Win vs Braga
Predicted Result: Fiorentina 1 – 3 Benfica
Match Preview: Benfica seems stronger in pen and paper, they are in pretty good form lately. They have clinched the Primeira League title last season and also had a clinical performance against Guadalajara. The likes of Haris Seferovic, Raul de Tomas, Rafa Silva all are in very good form and put their names on the score sheet against the Liga MX side in the previous game and can be proved to be vital in the upcoming encounter too.
On the contrary, despite managing a narrow victory against Las Chivas, the Violas are barely in great form since the start of the last season where they finished 16th in the league table. They couldn’t keep a clean sheet on that occasion and were destroyed by Unai Emery’s Arsenal. But the players like Riccardo Saponara, Giovanni Simeone and Cristoforo can put on a show on any occasion. So they won’t be a very easy opponent for their Portuguese counterparts.
I’m expecting a Benfica victory after ninety minutes of competitive football. There is more than 90% chance of both the team scoring in this clash.