Midfielder Joao Mario could start on the bench in this evening’s Champions League clash between Inter Milan and Benfica.

This according to today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, via FCInterNews, who anticipate that it is between the Portuguese international and David Neres to start on the right for Benfica in the group stage match.

Mario is a player who will be a familiar face for Inter.

The 30-year-old is a former Nerazzurri player. He joined the club from Sporting CP in the summer of 2016, fresh off the back of winning the Euros with Portugal.

Mario never quite found his best form in an Inter shirt.

The Portuguese played for the likes of West Ham United and Spartak Moscow on loan before returning to Sporting on loan during the 2020-21 season.

Mario had a successful spell back at his former club. He helped Sporting to win their first league title in nearly two decades.

However, in the summer of 2021 Mario made the move to Sporting’s Lisbon rivals Benfica on a permanent basis.

Joao Mario Could Be Benched In Inter Vs Benfica Clash

Mario has been an important player for Benfica under current coach Roger Schmidt.

The ex-Inter midfielder started both matches against his former club in last season’s Champions League quarterfinal tie.

However, Tuttosport report, there is no guarantee that Mario will start this evening’s match.

In central midfield, it will be a double pivot of Orkan Kokcu and Joao Neves.

And Rafa Silva should start in attack.

Therefore, if Mario is to start this evening’s match, it will be on the left of the attack. Either he or former Ajax and Shakhtar Donetsk winger David Neres could start.

Meanwhile, on the left Angel Di Maria will start for the Portuguese champions.

The Argentine World Cup winner returned to Benfica this summer on a free transfer after leaving Juventus.