Benfica vs Porto – Liga NOS: This is, theoretically, the biggest match until the end of the season
Even without forgetting that we will still have Benfica’s trip to Alvalade to face Sporting.
A victory for the Eagles in this match might be another decisive step towards winning the 5th consecutive league title, while a draw leaves everything open for the 4 rounds remaining and a loss might seriously jeopardize their aspirations,
leaving FC Porto with breathing room to continue depending solely on themselves and with a free path towards the Portuguese title.
Benfica comes into this match in form, although after a very poor second half in Bonfim.
The team knew how to react very well on the first half upon the early Vitória de Setúbal’s goal, tying by Jiménez
and they could have even scored a 2nd time before half-time, but they ended up not capitalizing the dangerous opportunities they’ve created.
On the 2nd half, they didn’t create that many chances. Salvio wasted his isolated chance to make it 2-1
and it was with a controversial penalty, at the 92nd minute, that Raúl scored the winning goal, maintaining his 100% conversion rate throughout his career and ensuring Benfica will be in the lead of the league when they face FC Porto this weekend, at Estádio da Luz.
That was Benfica’s 9th consecutive victory in the league, with the team having a record of 13 goals scored and only 1 goal conceded on the last 5 rounds (5-0 against Marítimo; 2-0 against Aves; 2-0 against Feirense; 2-0 against Vitória de Guimarães and 2-1 against Vitória de Setúbal).
FC Porto comes into this match at a stage of some instability, after an almost perfect campaign until three rounds ago in the league.
When the decisive moment was approaching, the Dragons have faltered, allowing Benfica to reduce their distance on the loss to Paços de Ferreira (0-1) away from home,
and then gave the Eagles space to snatch the isolated lead from them with the loss in Restelo (0-2, against Belenenses), in what was their 2nd consecutive slip-up on away matches.
Meanwhile, they’ve beaten Boavista (2-0) and come into this derby after their return to victories, at Estádio do Dragão, against Desportivo das Aves (2-0), on a result that was made in 11 minutes of football.
Benfica vs Porto – Betting Tip and Prediction:
If for Benfica a draw is enough to stay in first place and fight for the 5th consecutive title until the end (with only 4 rounds to go after this match), FC Porto is “forced” to win, to recover the 1st place they “handed over” to Benfica 2 weeks ago.
So far, on the pressure moments, the Dragons have shown to crumble a lot easier than the Eagles,
even because Benfica was under that same pressure during practically the entire season (they’ve played several matches where they were “forbidden” to lose,
at risk of handing over the title to FC Porto or leaving Sérgio Conceição’s men fighting with Sporting for the title)
and they didn’t crumble. I see more “champion material” on Rui Vitória’s team, and playing at home, they will more than likely not lose this match.
|Benfica AH 0||