MX23RW : Tuesday, June 15 10:22:17| >> :600:2466275:2466275:
Apr 10, 2021 at 8.30pm UK at Mata Real
Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira

Costa (58')
Eustaquio (22')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Goncalves (38'), Silva (45'), Seferovic (45+8', 78'), Nunez (89')
Goncalves (28'), Verissimo (33'), Grimaldo (43'), Waldschmidt (58'), Seferovic (61')

Preview: Pacos de Ferreira vs. Benfica - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Pacos de Ferreira and Benfica, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Benfica will look to record a sixth consecutive league win on Saturday when they travel to the Estadio da Mata Real to take on Pacos de Ferreira.

An upturn in form has seen As Aguias move back up to third spot in the Primeira Liga table, while their hosts remain fifth despite an inconsistent run in recent weeks.

Match preview

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

Pacos de Ferreira suffered a disappointing defeat last time out, as they travelled to strugglers Famalicao.

Goals from Anderson and Ivan Jaime sealed a fairly comfortable 2-0 win for the relegation-threatened outfit, and condemned Pepa's side to a third defeat in five games.

Before that, Os Castores were much more convincing, thrashing eighth-placed Moreirense 3-0 thanks to goals from Douglas Tanque, Luther Singh and Helder Ferreira.

However, their patchy run of form has seen them lose ground on the top four, after they had previously gone on an impressive six-game winning run to give themselves a real chance of European qualification.

Saturday presents an opportunity to reduce the gap between themselves and Benfica to seven points, although the manager may feel that it is slightly too late for his side to break into the top four with nine games left to play and 10 points to make up.

Meanwhile, Benfica will look to further stretch that gap and push to break into the top two, with what would be another impressive victory away from home.

Pacos de Ferreira head coach Pepa pictured in June 2020© Reuters

After an inconsistent run of form in the first few months of the year, Jorge Jesus's men appear to be well back on track, registering six consecutive wins in all competitions, and not conceding a single goal in that time.

They had to grind a narrow victory out in their last game, as Luca Waldschmidt netted the only goal of the game in a home win over basement side Maritimo.

That resilience will definitely please Jesus, as his side have found a way to pick up important wins from tight games thanks to their solid defensive foundations.

The solid defensive structure was especially visible in the crucial victory over Braga, as the 37-time Primeira Liga champions held on for a 2-0 win with Rafa Silva and Haris Seferovic netting goals.

That win saw As Aguias leapfrog Braga and move up to third spot, while they now have their sight set on second place to secure Champions League qualification for next season.

To do that, they will need to catch Porto who sit just three points ahead, and Saturday presents a good opportunity to put more pressure on the defending champions with another three points.

Pacos de Ferreira Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

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

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

Team News

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

Pacos de Ferreira will come into this game without forward Douglas Tanque, who will serve a suspension after he was shown a red card deep into injury time in the defeat to Famalicao.

However, they will be boosted by the return of winger Luther Singh, after he served a suspension last time out for accumulating five league yellow cards this season.

Record signing Stephen Eustaquio could be a crucial player for Os Castores on Saturday, offering physicality in midfield and providing the defence with protection.

Benfica's only absentees should be Andre Almeida and Andreas Samaris, as both continue lengthy spells out through injury.

They will welcome midfielder Pizzi back to action, after he served a suspension last time out.

Since his return to the side from a spell out with injury, Luca Waldschmidt has been trusted with regular starts alongside Haris Seferovic.

That has meant record signing Darwin Nunez has been limited to substitute appearances in recent weeks, despite registering four goals and seven assists in league action this campaign.

Meanwhile, the impressive performances of Lucas Verissimo in defence has limited the minutes of Jan Vertonghen, who previously held down a centre-back spot alongside Nicolas Otamendi.

Pacos de Ferreira possible starting lineup:
Jordi; Fonseca, Marcelo, Gonzaga, Rebocho; Ferreira, Eustaquio, Costa, Carlos, Singh; Uilton

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

SM words green background

We say: Pacos de Ferreira 0-2 Benfica

As Aguias are building up a head of steam right now, and we see them picking up another fairly dominant victory on Saturday.

The attacking threat of the likes of Seferovic, Pizzi and Waldschmidt should have more than enough to break through the hosts' back line, while their strong defensive run could continue with a seventh consecutive clean sheet in all competitions.

Top tip

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