Fifa yesterday banned Benfica and Brazil central defender Luisão from all football activities until November for knocking a referee unconscious in a preseason game against Fortuna Dusseldorf in August.
Benfica didn’t expect Luisão to be available for tonight’s Champions League game against Celtic but the decision, coming a day before kick-off, will do nothing for morale. While they lost midfielders Javi Garcia and Axel Witsel to Manchester City and Zenit late in the transfer window, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Benfica spent well over £20m this summer. The new guys will no doubt eventually prove their worth, but right now they remain very much the new guys. Celtic have to make them feel a long way from home tonight.
During our last successful Champions League group stage in 2007 we concluded that it was more important not to make mistakes at this level than to try to score the perfect goal. If we get a solid performance from Scott Brown and Victor Wanyama in front of a defence which clears its lines and takes no chances, the stage will be set for James Forrest and Gary Hooper. I expect both to hurt Benfica.
It was interesting to hear our chief executive take questions on the subject of EBTs and the health of our club yesterday. More on this after the matter in hand has passed.Support a Scottish World Champion Boxer: Ricky Burns
On Saturday 22nd September, lifelong Celtic fan Ricky Burns is defending Scotland’s honour against England’s Kevin Mitchell in an unmissable World Championship boxing clash!
Burns puts his WBO World Lightweight Championship on the line, in a fight billed as the Battle of Britain. You can bag yourself the best seat in the house with BoxNationTV (Sky 437, Virgin 546).
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To get behind a Scottish World Champion as he battles it out in the ring, subscribe to BoxNation now and enter the promo code GOALBOXING (all block capitals) to take advantage of this special offer.