Benfica v Lille
Benfica coach Ronald Koeman will be hoping the the Champions League can kickstart their domestic form after a disappointing start to the season.
Benfica are still seeking their first competitive win since Koeman succeeded Giovanni Trapattoni as coach in the summer.
“When we don’t win, criticism is natural,” Koeman said. “But I am very confident ahead of the game with Lille. It is a different competition and the one all clubs want to play in. This French side will provide very difficult opposition for us, as they have good players and I am sure they are motivated to do well in this competition, just like we are.”
Benfica captain Simao agrees, saying: “The Champions League is a different competition from a league championship or any other type of competition. I have honestly missed these great European matches. Lille are a great team who will have just as much motivation as us. But it is vital that we win our first game at home.”
Koeman will welcome back Petit and Bruno Aguiar from injury, giving him a full squad to choose from.
Meanwhile, Lille coach Claude Puel will be without defender Efstathios Tavlaridis, and expects a tough encounter in Lisbon.
“The game will be very tough, but we have what it takes to win,” he said. “Benfica are a very strong team with players that can make a difference. However, I expect us to qualify from the group and continue our European adventure.”