This marks the start of the official matches for both of these teams, and also the first chance to win a trophy this season.
At the Municipal de Aveiro, the current champion and Portugal’s cup winner and the beaten finalist will face off.
Well if we go back to the month of May and to that same match, both teams have now changed a little bit.
Benfica saw Ederson, Lindelof and Nelson Semedo (3 of their 5 defensive line stones) leave. These players were very important for Benfica during this 3 year title-winning streak and helped Benfica return to a dominant position over Portuguese football. Since they left, Benfica will now be weaker this season when compared to last season, especially on the defensive third.
To replace them we have Julio Cesar, who was relegated to the bench last season, and will now have a good opportunity to get back on the starting 11. Despite being a great goalkeeper, at 37 years of age, he is not quite at the best stage of his career.
To replace Nelson Semedo we should see André Almeida step up, he who has been the joker card for Benfica on these last 4 years, playing wherever he is needed. He can for sure be an useful player especially since he is so versatile. But he probably doesn’t have what it takes to be a solid player for the starting line-up. Despite giving Benfica’s defence some height, he isn’t so good offensively, and makes Benfica’s attack much more predictable, since he doesn’t usually go all the way down the wing.
Pedro Pereira or “Buta” could be a good option but the ex-Sampdoria player is still yet to justify the investment made, since he is still too young and unexperienced to play at the highest level (as we could see in the friendly against Arsenal) so it is a very risky option for this match already.
Finally, we have Lindelof, who should be replaced by Jardel, who has played with the Swede for 2 years but, due to the several injuries suffered last season, has also shown some drop in speed, reaction time, positioning and confidence comparing to the 15/16 season.
This way, I see a very susceptible defensive line for the Eagles, which is evidenced by the 14 goals conceded in this pre-season. On the offensive third, and considering Mitroglou’s injury, there has to be a new face stepping up: Seferovic. The Swiss is clearly a good signing, very strong on pressuring the opponent, a little bit like Jimenez but much stronger. He has showed good chemistry with Jonas during the pre-season, so that is very important.
In my opinion, this is the likely starting 11 for Benfica:
Julio Cesar, André Almeida, Luisão, Jardel, Grimaldo, Fejsa, Pizzi, Cervi, Salvio, Jonas and Seferovic
Moving on to Vitória de Guimarães, the team, compared to their starting 11 in the cup final, is now left without Bruno Gaspar, Hernani and Marega. To replace Bruno Gaspar, we will likely see João Aurélio, who was signed from Nacional da Madeira. Marega should be replaced by the Colombian Estupiñan, who has been one of the key players for Vitória during this pre-season. To replace Hernani, we should have Helder Ferreira or Fábio Sturgeon, who were both Vitória’s players last season already.
Vitória’s pre-season was pretty decent, losing vs FC Porto, but winning against Sporting CP, where the goalkeeper Miguel Silva has probably secured his place in this Supercup final’s starting 11 instead of Douglas. With that said, I believe that Vitória will play with the following starting 11:
Miguel Silva, João Vigário, Josue, Moreno, João Aurélio, Zungu Rafael Miranda, Raphinha Hurtado, Helder Ferreira and O. Estupinan.
Benfica vs V. Guimarães Pick:
Analysing the conditions of both teams and considering this is their first official match, I believe that both teams won’t be in their maximum strength, and I think several defensive errors will occur.
I believe that Benfica’s squad has a lot more quality, combined with the importance of starting this season on the right foot for the Eagles in their quest to achieve their unprecedented their 5th league title in a row will be key.
This way, and looking at their previous encounters, I fancy a Benfica win here.
Since I don’t think Benfica will keep a clean sheet though, I also think the Both teams to score market has some value. With that said, I’m going with Benfica to win and Both teams to score in this match.