Twenty-two days after having broken his right cheekbone, Jan Vertonghen is back, to start this Sunday, against Rio Ave, on Benfica’s return to the championship. Jorge Jesus confirmed, in a press conference, that the Belgian central defender “is going to play”. And he will be paired, for the first time, with Nicolás Otamendi, substitute for Rúben Dias, who left for City.
Vertonghen and Otamendi will form the defense center team, which will, under normal conditions, be the first option. French central defender Jean-Clair Todibo, hired on the last day of the transfer market to Barcelona on loan from a season, is training well but has not been called up.
Jardel is the third center of the list of 21 players that the coach took to Vila do Conde.
Not much change is expected from the last game against Farense. In addition to Vertonghen’s return, there may be a change in the midfield, with Julian Weigl applying for a spot alongside Gabriel. In that case, Pizzi would play on the right and Rafa would start on the bench.