THE BALL – Benfica’s likely eleven in Arouca (Liga)

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Cold night in Arouca. This is certainly what awaits Benfica in today’s trip, at 21.15 hours, to the village in the district of Aveiro, located in Serra da Freita. The estimated temperature for the game time points to three degrees, but it is quite possible that the thermal sensation is much lower. A freezing night… calling for reinforcements from the cold. And, in that sense, what better place for Scandinavians Andreas Schjelderup and Casper Tengstedt, reinforcements this winter and men used to low temperatures, to make their debut in Roger Schmidt’s squad?

Without competition since mid-November, the two players who arrived in Seixal at the beginning of the month are now prepared to start applying for a place in the eleven. Roger Schmidt’s idea is, for now, to take them to the substitute bench for the first time, but as the match progresses, they may even make their debut in competition. Especially Tengstedt, taking into account the confirmed absence of Gonçalo Ramos from tonight’s challenge.

Without Ramos, Musa should be chosen to assume the title in front of attack. Another option could be to put Gonçalo Guedes in that sector, but the Portuguese international must be bet to play behind the Croatian.

The biggest doubt, even so, lies in what Roger Schmidt can do to make up for the likely absence of Enzo Fernández in a game that will end at the last minute of market closing. When he didn’t have the Argentine, the German bet on Chiquinho, putting Aursnes on one of the wings. The Norwegian midfielder, even so, could be a solution to play alongside Florentino. And the beneficiary of this option could even be Neres. The Brazilian has not been in the starting line-up for the League since November 13, against Gil Vicente, matchday 13. The last title, this happened in the Portuguese Cup, with Varzim, and played only 45 minutes. With Paços de Ferreira, he was released one minute from 90′. It is, therefore, fresh to play today in Arouca. Even in the cold.