While the championships are coming to an end, there are less doubts about the possible opponents of the 3rd qualifying round of Champions League.
As the Offical Website explained on May 16, Benfica, due to a good coefficient in UEFA, will always be a seeded team in the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League and even in the group stage. This statute allows to avoid names such as Dinamo Kiev (Ukraine), Basel (Switzerland) and Ajax (Holland).
Nevertheless, there are strong names of the European football which might face the eagles. Leading the list, is Spartak of Moscow. Winner of the Russian League in 11 occasions, the Russians are well experimented in the defense and intense in the midfield and in the offensive line. Among the names of their squad is the Paraguayan Melgarejo, an old Benfica’s player.
Another decided club is Fenerbahçe. The Turkish were beaten by Benfica in the Europa League semis, back in 2012/13. The team from Istanbul has already won 19 championships, but it is far from the main Turkish competition since 2013/14.
Other of the possible opponents of Benfica comes from Belgium and is called Standard de Liège. Coached by Ricardo Sá Pinto, also counts with Moroccan Carcela in their ranks, a player who was a champion for Benfica in 2015/16.
The participants of the 3rd qualifying round will be complete with the two winners from the 2nd qualifying round. It is already known that PAOK (Greece), Ajax (Holand), Sturm Graz (Austria) and Basel (Switzerland) will compete in this stage, although only the Austrian team can meet Benfica.
The matches of the 3rd qualifying round will be held on August 7/8 (first leg) and August 14 (second leg).
POSSIBLE OPPONENTS OF BENFICA IN THE 3RD QUALIFYING ROUND
- Spartak Moscow (Russia)
- Standard Liège (Belgium)
- Sturm Graz (Austria)
- Fenerbahçe (Turkey)
- Jablonec/Slavia Praga (Czech Republic)
Qualifying to the play-off, Benfica will play the first leg on August 21/22 and the second leg on August 28/29.