Next Sunday, August 3, 2014 (6:00 AM Pacific), the Portuguese champions SL Benfica will go head-to-head with Valencia for the Emirates Stadium Cup in London, on what will be the second match for both teams on the above mentioned competition.
SL Benfica’s last season performances and achievements left their supporters purring for more, although, their pre-season displays have left something to be desired so far. The Lisbon team have lost several of their most influential players during the Summer: Garay joined Zenit, Markovic signed for Liverpool, and André Gomes and Rodrigo were recruited by Valencia. According to the recent media reports, the exodus of talented players will carry on, since Nico Gaitán and Enzo Pérez are on the shortlists of several European teams.
After succumbing to the hands of Athletic Bilbao during the week, on a match during which the Portuguese team once again made a very poor image of themselves, Benfica were completely hammered by Arsenal 5-1, on their first Emirates Stadium Cup’s clash this Saturday. Jorge Jesus brought out the team’s big guns with Gaitán, Salvio and Ola John serving the Brazilian versatile forward Lima, but the Portuguese champions failed miserably. The team’s defence line never seemed able to sustain Arsenal’s attacking game and ended up by being completely humiliated on English soil during Saturday’s afternoon.
As for Valencia, despite several poor performances and disappointing results to go along with, Los Che managed to grab a draw against AS Monaco during the Emirates Stadium Cup’s opening match.
After the somewhat surprising departure of Juan Antonio Pizzi, who developed a fairly positive work with the team last season, Valencia appointed the Portuguese former international goalkeeper Nuno Espírito Santo as their new head coach. Nuno is far from being a manager with plenty of experience, nevertheless, his impressive work with the Portuguese side of Rio Ave last season apparently convinced Valencia’s new board.
Although Nuno still has plenty work ahead of him in order to build a quality and competitive team, Valencia have already showed some very interesting movements on the match against AS Monaco and were very near of granting a win when Paco Álcacer put them on the lead on the 69th minute. Nevertheless, Los Che failed to sustain the French side attacking flow and conceded the draw ten minutes before full-time.
Benfica vs Valencia Prediction
If one has in mind both team’s recent performances and the enormous humiliation Benfica suffered at the hands of Arsenal, one may consider Valencia as favourites for winning next Sunday’s match, although they are also still miles away from their best. This being said, the most likely outcome is 2-1 for Valencia.
Benfica vs Valencia Prediction
The match will be televised on ESPN Deportes, on Sunday at 6 AM Pacific.
SL Benfica (4-4-2) – Artur – André Almeida – Sidnei – César – Loris Benito – Rúben Amorim – João Cancelo – Gaitán – Candeias – Bebé – Derley
Head Coach – Jorge Jesus
Valencia (4-3-3) – Yoel – Cissokho – Vezo – Otamendi – Barragán – Ibañez – Guardado – Dani Parejo – Feghouli – Paco Alcácer – Piatti
Head Coach – Nuno Espirito Santo