The impact of Liverpool forward Mo Salah is clear as one Benfica player is reportedly engaging in ‘special training’ ahead of their Champions League battle.
Liverpool come up against the Portuguese outfit next Tuesday in Lisbon. It is the first leg of their UCL quarter-final clash.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are favourites following their dominance in Group B and last-16 win over Inter.
However, Benfica cannot be written off. They finished above Barcelona in Group E and overcame Ajax in the following round.
They have deadly Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez at their disposal. His record stands at 26 goals from just 33 matches this season.
Nunez hit the winner for Benfica in the second leg against Ajax, and will likely be a handful for Liverpool’s defenders next month.
At the other end of the pitch, Benfica players will have their work cut out to keep Salah at bay. Like Nunez, he has been in blistering form this term.
Benfica know Mo Salah battle is integral
Should Benfica manage to stop Salah from scoring, then they have a better chance of progressing to the last four.
With this in mind, one defender is reportedly working ‘extra hours’ to prepare for the tie.
According to Sport Witness, who cite reports in Portugal, Alex Grimaldo is the man doing overtime.
He is taking part in ‘special training’ to stop Egypt international Salah.
Grimaldo is also analysing videos of recent Liverpool games. He has done this with previous UCL opponents and it has worked.
The left-back hopes such sessions will give him the edge when it comes to facing off against Salah.
After the first match in Lisbon, the return leg will take place at Anfield on April 13 at 20:00.
A positive performance across the two legs could see Grimaldo earn a Premier League move. Previous reports have put him on Manchester United’s radar, as a potential replacement for Luke Shaw.
The 26-year-old has good experience, too. He came through Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy before gaining promotion to their B team.
Grimaldo never quite managed to get into the senior squad at the Nou Camp and was sold to Benfica in January 2016.
He has gone on to make 243 appearances for the Eagles, scoring 19 goals.