Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s play their second group game in the Premier League International Cup this evening, as they welcome European giants Benfica to the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, kick-off 7pm.
The Seagulls drew 2-2 with Everton in their opening match last month, and Simon Rusk’s side will now play the first of two matches against foreign clubs, with Bayern Munich visiting in January.
Tonight’s opponents also kicked off their schedule against the Toffees, but the Portuguese outfit were defeated 2-0 and will be looking to get off the mark with an improved display against Albion.
Rusk’s team head into the game on the back of a positive result in the Premier League 2 Division 1 — Ben Barclay’s 89th-minute header sealed maximum points against Blackburn Rovers in a 2-1 victory.
Aaron Connolly was also on the scoresheet for the Seagulls, as he headed home an equaliser at the Amex Stadium, which took the Irishman to eight goals in 11 appearances this season.
Benfica have competed in the Premier League International Cup every season since its introduction in 2014/15 — however the Eagles have only managed to progress from the group stage on one occasion.
The visitors arrive on the south coast with an unbeaten record across their previous four league matches, however their mosts recent results have been back-to-back 2-2 draws which came after their defeat to Everton.
Albion supporters can follow a live text blog from tonight’s game on the Match Centre, with a report and gallery being uploaded after the full-time whistle.