Rio Ave FC x SL Benfica squad list

Jorge Jesus' biggest selection surprise is Uruguayan player Jonathan Rodríguez making the cut.

The striker received the call after quality performances for the B team, especially against Portimonense where he scored a hat-trick.

His inclusion is also directly related to the suspended Gaitán, who will be forced to sit this game out.




Tickets still available for Rio Ave

Supporters who would like to push the team forward at Vila do Conde still have a chance to buy tickets.

Benfica travel north on Saturday to face Rio Ave and tickets are available between €15 to €30, which is now open non-members too and will be on sale until Friday evening or until they sell out.

Jorge Jesus has called for a training session this morning at 10:00 GMT which will take place behind closed doors.

Benfica have 3 days to prepare for this important away game, in a ground which is typically difficult to play in.




Highlights: Benfica 2 - 0 Braga

Jonas and Eliseu scored a goal on each half with placed shots from outside the area. In front of over 60,000 fans, Benfica worked hard for their comfortable win over 10-men Braga. Benfica increase the gap to second placed FC Porto by seven points with an extra game played. Continue to watch highlights.




Squad List: Benfica vs Braga

Jorge Jesus has included Serbian midfielder Sulejmani ahead of the important clash against Braga this afternoon as Talisca is suspended for accumulation of yellow cards. The 26-year-old has rarely featured this season due to prolonged injury which saw him pushed down in the pecking order, though likely to be named in the substitute bench.

Sílvio and Cristante have been left out due to option. Defender César remains injured whilst Fejsa played for Benfica B on Wednesday to regain match fitness with his first game of the season.




Fans support vital

Jorge Jesus gave his views ahead of the important home game against Braga this Saturday and highlighted that support from fans is they key to victory.




Highlights: Arouca 1 - 3 Benfica

Benfica saw three second-half goals after going down early to Arouca to keep the 4-point gap with second placed Porto. 

Iuri got the hosts off the mark on the 7th minute after Eliseu left his man unmarked. Arouca proved to be difficult to brake down and the best chance for the visitors fell to Salvio from 5 yards who hit the crossbar. 




Hany Mukhtar travels to Arouca

January signing Hany Mukhtar, 19-year-old midfielder from Hertha Berlin, is the surprise inclusion in the team that traveled north of Portugal yesterday for the match against Arouca. 

The German u20 midfielder has earned his first call to the senior team, though two players from the list will miss out in this afternoon's game.

Júlio César also makes his return after suffering an injury at home to Boavista four weeks ago.




Jesus admits a two-horse race for Portuguese title

In today's press conference, ahead of tomorrow's match against Arouca, Jorge Jesus stated Benfica have to continue focusing on themselves. However, the Benfica manger admitted he believes the race for the title is now between the reds and Porto.

"No one has any doubts that the race for the domestic league title will be between two. We always have the same pressure to win and we do not need to depend on anyone."

"We aren't worried about anyone else, only our next opponent."




Arouca away in maximum force

Jorge Jesus will have, for the first time this season, the full squad available to choose from as Benfica travel north to face Arouca.

The exception is Serbian midfielder Ljubomir Fesja, who was known to be sidelined until the latter end of the season, and is the only player to be in the care of Benfica's medical team.

Jesus will have his press conference at the Estádio da Luz today at 16:00 local time.

The squad list is expected to be made public tomorrow morning.




Emphatic Benfica crush Estoril

Benfica demolished José Couceiro's Estoril in Estádio da Luz with six goals without reply to increase the gap between second placed side FC Porto to 7 points as title rivals host Sporting tomorrow.

Four goals in the first half was the biggest goal margin in the first 45 minutes by Benfica this season, and there could have been more, watch the highlights above.




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