MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 15:31:01| >> :600:110162:110162:
Feb 8, 2021 at 7pm UK at Estádio da Luz
BenficaBenfica
2-0
FamalicaoFamalicao
Nunez (3'), Otamendi (7')
Taarabt (56'), Otamendi (72'), Gilberto (87')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Babic (29'), Vinagre (58')

Preview: Benfica vs. Famalicao - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Primeira Liga clash between Benfica and Famalicao, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Benfica will be on the hunt for their first win in five Primeira Liga games on Monday, when they welcome Famalicao to the Estadio da Luz.

Their recent run has seen the Portuguese giants fall to fourth in the Primeira Liga table, sitting 11 points behind league leaders Sporting Lisbon.


Match preview

Benfica head coach Jorge Jesus pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Benfica's disappointing run of form has seen them collect just three points from their last four league games, falling behind Braga as a result, while they have also lost ground on Portugal's top two sides.

Meanwhile, Jorge Jesus's side are now level on points with fifth-placed Pacos de Ferreira, who have enjoyed a quick rise up the table, having won their last six league matches.

Last time out, As Aguias were held to a 0-0 draw by Vitoria de Guimaraes, in a game where Jesus's men dominated, but could not find an important winning goal.

That followed a narrow 1-0 loss away at leaders Sporting Lisbon, with the game looking set to finish 0-0 until Matheus Nunes snatched all three points for the hosts with a goal in added time.

Although their league form has been concerning, the 37-time Primeira Liga champions will be encouraged by their recent cup victory, when they secured their place in the final four of the Taca de Portugal with a convincing 3-0 win over Belenenses.

Darwin Nunez, Rafa Silva and Franco Cervi all got on the scoresheet in a strong Benfica performance, which should give them confidence going into Monday's game, when they take on another side struggling at the bottom of the Primeira Liga.

Benfica's Darwin Nunez celebrates with a teammate after scoring against Rangers on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Famalicao come into this game with the hope of escaping the division's relegation zone, currently sitting 17th.

Although they occupy a spot in the bottom two, they do remain only one point adrift of automatic safety, with 15th-placed Portimonense within touching distance for Silas's side.

Despite that, Fama come into this game in a worrying patch of form, having lost six of their last seven Primeira Liga matches.

That run has seen them fall into the automatic relegation zone, a noticeable regression from last season, when they finished sixth in the top flight in their first season following promotion from the Segunda Liga.

Joao Pedro Sousa, who took the side so close to European qualification last season, failed to repeat those heroics this campaign, and he was sacked at the end of January.

The Famalicao board then made the decision to bring in former Sporting Lisbon manager Silas, in an attempt to avoid relegation back to the second tier.

Last time out, in Silas's first game in charge, they fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Moreirense, after Riccieli scored an own goal, followed by a Yan strike before half time.

The Portuguese manager will be hoping that his side can turn their form around with a win in this game, which could see them move out of the automatic relegation zone.

Benfica Primeira Liga form: DWDDLD
Benfica form (all competitions): DLDWLD

Famalicao Primeira Liga form: LLWLLL


Team News

Benfica's Haris Seferovic celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates in January 2021© Reuters

Benfica have been boosted in the last two games by the return of Nicolas Otamendi, who previously spent time out of the squad with COVID-19. The Argentinian has been a crucial part of one of the Primeira Liga's best defences this season, alongside the experienced Jan Vertonghen.

However, they do still have issues at the back, with Jardel unavailable through injury, joining full-back Andre Almeida, who remains out of contention with a ligament rupture, on the sidelines.

Jesus did take action to add to his defensive ranks by bringing in Lucas Verissimo, who joined in a January transfer from Brazilian club Santos.

Worryingly for the hosts, they are expected to remain without attacker Luca Waldschmidt, who has missed their last two matches with an injury. The German has starred for As Aguias so far this campaign, recording six goals and two assists in the league.

They could also be missing creative midfielder Rafa Silva, who missed the Vitoria match with a knee issue, with forward Darwin Nunez likely to come back into the starting team to boost their attacking threat.

Silas should have a full squad to pick from, apart from injured attacker Leonardo Campana, who has only featured six times for Famalicao in league action this season.

Manuel Ugarte will start in the engine room again for the visitors, after Famalicao broke their transfer record to bring the young midfielder in from CA Fenix in the January transfer window.

They have had to deal with a major loss in January, with attacking midfielder Ruben Lameiras moving to Vitoria, while they received forward Alexandre Guedes on loan in that deal.

The visitors will also be without forward Jhonata Robert, after the Brazilian was shown a red card late on in the recent loss to Moreirense.

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Everton, Weigl, Taarabt, Pizzi; Nunez, Seferovic

Famalicao possible starting lineup:
Junior; Figueiras, Junior, Patrick, Babic, Vinagre; Lukovic, Ugarte, Kraev; Anderson, Guedes


SM words green background

We say: Benfica 1-0 Famalicao

Although they come into the game lacking form, we expect Benfica to get a win here, taking on a side lacking quality.

As Aguias' defence should comfortably deal with Famalicao, while we see Haris Seferovic getting on the scoresheet for the home side, firing them to an important win.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Gustavo Sauer pictured in action for Boavista in June 2020
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Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
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> Today's schedule in full
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