Schmidt upon notice. Winning was the first hurdle and a lot has changed

THE Captain Benfica continues to finalize the details for the reception at Vitoria SC, which is scheduled for Saturday and is related to the 25th matchday of the I Liga. The Eagles remain determined not to lose ground to rivals FC Porto, but are on yellow alert due to the draw at Guimaraes in the opening round of the league. This, after a truly dazzling start to the season.

It all happened on October 1, when Benfica kept a clean sheet away to the Estádio Dom Afonso Henriques (0-0), ending a run of 13 consecutive victories in as many matches of the then-new season. Roger Schmidt’s side couldn’t get past the Victorian side and will have a chance for revenge the day after tomorrow, and a lot has changed since then.

Looking at the teams that appeared in the cradle of the king, we can easily see that of the five substitutes used by Roger Schmidt, only one of them can face Vitória SC again. Diogo Gonsalves moved to Copenhagen in January and John Brooks left too, returning to Germany. For his part, Fredrik Orsnes is suspended and will not be able to attend the match, while Julian Draxler continues to recover from an injury that even forced him to undergo surgery. That leaves Petar Moussa, who should return to the bench.

But there is more. In the Reds midfield was Enzo Fernández, who currently represents Chelsea, and without Aursnes, Chiquinho should take the place next to Florentino Luís.

On the Vitória SC side, note the absences of important players such as Bruno Varela and Ibrahima Bamba, who were in the starting line-up in the 1st round. Ze Carlos also started from Guimaraes but has to miss the trip to Lisbon.

Null in Light and in memory

Looking at the history of the conflicts, there is one result that stands out. In the 2020/21 season, Vitória SC went to Luz to score a goalless draw and the following season the eagles managed to get their revenge with an undisputed triumph (3-0).

In total, Benfica have hosted Vitória SC in Luz on 88 occasions and won 72 of them. There were also 11 draws and Vitória SC won five.

Also read: Roger Schmidt believes in Cher Ndour and renewal remains on the table

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