MX23RW : Tuesday, April 13 15:42:36| >> :600:341520:341520:
Mar 8, 2021 at 8.15pm UK at Estádio do Restelo
BelenensesBelenenses
0-3
BenficaBenfica

Ramires (87')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Seferovic (55', 58'), Verissimo (65')

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

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

Benfica head into their fixture with Belenenses on Monday evening knowing that only a win will do if they wish to remain in the Primeira Liga title race.

While the visitors are looking to close the gap on leaders Sporting Lisbon to 13 points, Belenenses are in 10th position after putting together a five-match unbeaten streak.


Match preview

Benfica's Pizzi celebrates scoring against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League in February 2020© Reuters

With Sporting remaining unbeaten after 22 matches, it would come as a surprise if the likes of Braga, Porto and Benfica manage to catch the runaway frontrunners before the end of the campaign.

However, the congestion between second and fourth means that one of the nation's top clubs could miss out on Champions League qualification, something which would represent a major blow given the current financial climate.

While Benfica have gone five matches unbeaten in Portugal's top flight, three of those fixtures ended in draws, the most recent coming at lowly Farense.

Jorge Jesus witnessed his side respond to that disappointment with a much-needed 2-0 triumph against Rio Ave, their goals coming from Haris Seferovic and Pizzi.

The latter only has three league strikes to his name for the campaign, leaving Jesus to hope that the 31-year-old can rediscover his form from last season.

Like the visitors, the majority of Belenenses' recent matches have ended in stalemates, putting the club at risk of being pulled into a relegation scrap.

Despite sitting in mid-table, Armando Teixeira's team are just four points above bottom-placed Boavista with 13 matches remaining.

That scenario will ensure that Os Azuis do Restelo do not get complacent over the coming weeks as they bid to cap a successful return to the top tier.

While Belenenses have scored two goals in successive matches for the first time this season, they still possess the worst attacking record in the division.

Belenenses Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D

Benfica Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Benfica form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W


Team News

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Jesus must decide whether to take any risks on Jan Vertonghen, who has been struggling with a thigh injury.

A number of players who dropped out for the cup win over Estoril, such as Rafa and Julian Weigl, are expected to return to the starting XI.

Tiago Esgaio is back in contention for Belenenses and could return to the side in place of Diogo Calila.

Miguel Cardoso may feature in the final third if he passes a late fitness test.

Belenenses possible starting lineup:
Kritsyuk; Silva, Henrique, Ribeiro; Esgaio, Cafu, Yaya, Lima; Cardoso, Varela; Cassiera

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Leite; Goncalves, Verissimo, Otamendi, Grimaldo; Rafa, Pizzi, Weigl, Everton; Seferovic, Waldschmidt


SM words green background

We say: Belenenses 1-2 Benfica

Having recently held Porto to a goalless draw on home territory, Belenenses will be confident of claiming more points off a big club. However, Benfica are motivated to claim a Champions League spot at the end of the season, leaving us to predict a hard-fought win for the visitors.



Top 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:curl


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Benfica coach Jorge Jesus in the Europa League on February 18, 2021
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Monday's Primeira Liga predictions including Benfica vs. Rio Ave
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sporting Lisbon26206048133566
2Porto26186255243160
3Benfica26176348173157
4Braga26173647272054
5Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira2613583330344
6Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes26105113035-535
7Santa ClaraSanta Clara26105113329435
8MoreirenseMoreirense2681082632-634
9PortimonensePortimonense2685133031-129
10Gil Vicente2684142533-828
11TondelaTondela2684142542-1728
12Rio AveRio Ave26610102231-928
13FamalicaoFamalicao2669112738-1127
14BelenensesBelenenses2651291524-927
15BoavistaBoavista26510112940-1125
16Maritimo2673162238-1624
17SC FarenseFarense2657142435-1122
18Nacional2656152444-2021

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