- This is the first-ever meeting between Benfica and Al Nassr
- Cristiano Ronaldo has never scored in five previous appearances against Benfica
- Angel Di Maria’s last appearance for Benfica came in 2010
Interesting pre-season action will take place in Portugal on Thursday, as Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr take on Portuguese giants Benfica. There will be homecomings for a number of stars on the field, including Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be playing in his homeland for the first time since departing European soccer for the Middle East.
The match will also see Angel Di Maria make his long-awaited return to Benfica after joining the club on a free transfer from Juventus. You can find the latest odds to bet on soccer and our Benfica vs Al Nassr picks below.
Benfica vs. Al Nassr Odds
The latest odds for this fixture aren’t yet live. However, Benfica will likely open as the clear favorites to land victory, while despite the millions spent, Al Nassr will likely be a huge outsider.
Benfica vs. Al Nassr Information
Benfica vs Al Nassr
Location of the Game: Estadio Algarve, Portugal.
Date & Time: Thursday, July 20. 3:30 PM ET.
How to Watch: ESPN
Benfica vs. Al Nassr Analysis
Benfica Pre-Season Update
A big season awaits Benfica, as the Portuguese champions will be looking to successfully retain their Primeira Liga title. Their preparations ahead of the start of the new season have already begun, as this will be their third pre-season friendly.
The Portuguese giants have already recorded routine wins against Southampton and Basel, and they will be expected to continue that winning streak ahead of their date against FC Porto in the Supertaca Candido de Oliveira on August 8. It has been a busy summer off the field, as Benfica have already strengthened with the additions of Orkun Kokcu and David Jurasek.
However, all eyes on Thursday will be on the return of Angel Di Maria. The Argentinean star made his name in Portugal with Benfica, before going on to win major pieces of silverware at PSG and Real Madrid. However, he could be the key player in the coming season that could take them to the next level.
Benfica Projected Lineup
- Di Maria
Al Nassr Pre-Season Update
The Saudi Pro League has gained attention since the start of the year, with a growing number of world superstars moving to the Middle East. Cristiano Ronaldo was the first to accept the millions offered by the Saudis, but his move hardly brought success to Al Nassr, as they slipped from first to second following his arrival in the Saudi Pro League.
However, there will be confidence ahead of the start of the 2023-24 season that they can improve on that showing, as Luis Castro takes charge of the team for his first full season. Marcelo Brozovic was the big summer arrival for Al Nassr, and the Croatian will be expected to play a career role in the soccer matches this week.
However, before making Benfica vs Al Nassr picks, it’s important to recognize that there is still a gulf in quality between the European teams and those from outside of the continent. That was evident in Al Nassr’s first match of the Algarve Cup, as they were soundly beaten by La Liga strugglers Celta Vigo 5-0 on July 17.
Al Nassr Projected Lineup
Al Nassr Injuries
Benfica vs. Al Nassr Pick and Prediction
There is a clear divide in the quality between these two sides, evident from the thumping that Al Nassr received at the hands of Celta Vigo. Therefore, it would be hard to make Benfica vs Al Nassr picks on the visitors this week.
For that reason, we will be siding with Benfica (-2) for our soccer picks for this pre-season fixture.
- Pick: Benfica (-2)