Benfica vs FC Porto Prediction, Preview, H2H, Lineups & Betting Tips 01.04.2017
Huge number of the football fans in Portugal are holding their breath as we are on the eve of the second “O Clássico” edition during 2016-17 Primeira Liga season when Benfica takes on FC Porto. Their clash at the “Estádio da Luz” in capital Lisbon comes as a direct first position battle and if we consider domestic superiority of the clubs, we won’t be surprised if an upcoming encounter is decisive for the championship.
H2H Stats – Benfica vs FC Porto: Benfica and Porto are two of Os Três Grandes (The Big Three) in Portuguese football and their rivalry is commonly known as O Clássico (The Classic). The rivalry involves the two largest Portuguese cities Lisbon and Porto, but also names of the wealthiest, most successful and influential football teams in the southern country.
Earlier in the season FC Porto and Benfica met at the “Estádio Do Dragão” in Porto where visitors from Lisbon were lucky to squeeze a point in closing seconds of the match. Porto’s attacker Diogo Jota opened the score in opening second-half minutes and “Dragons” were probably seeing themselves as final winners until a late equalizer scored by the Argentine defender Lisandro López.
Although they have not won that game, Benfica found a way to end its negative streak against Porto. Before last match from early November “Dragons” were with two successive wins, preceded by another draw, making a run of four consecutive unsuccessful winning attempts of Benfica.
Last derby win of “The Eagles” over Porto dates from December 2014 when they won away from Lisbon and Lima scored a brace.
Primeira Liga: Benfica vs FC Porto 01.04.2017
Right prior a break for international football Paços de Ferreira halted Benfica’s positive domestic form. However, truth is Rui Vitória’s men have been nowhere near their optimum in the recent months, but on other hand it’s no secret that winning ugly can be determinant for making pretender a champion.
Currently club from Lisbon occupies the Primeira Liga top and “Eagles” can be content their rivals have also slipped on the day after Benfica drew near Porto. Indeed, distance from Paços de Ferreira to Porto is less than 40 km’s and maybe a goalless draw against “The Beavers” was a slap that came right on time to awake Benfica. It was the first failure for Benfica after seven successive triumphs in Portuguese competitions.
In period February-March “Eagles” lost once only, but that defeat cost them a further progress to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals – losing 4-0 to Borussia Dortmund.
Porto have also been eliminated at the same European stage as “Dragons” lost twice to Italian champion Juventus. Nevertheless, Nuno Espírito Santo’s men have all arguments to claim first position in the Primeira Liga and especially after last year’s unacceptable performance (Porto finished third on 15 behind Benfica).
Nuno Espírito Santo surely regrets his lads couldn’t won over Vitória Setúbal last round, when they had all the preconditions to replace Benfica from the peak. Anyway, game in Porto ended with a 1-1 draw and thus “Dragons” must find a way to dethrone their rivals in Lisbon.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Benfica should be thankful to Porto’s latest outcome as the squad maintains its slim lead from only a point – 64 against 63.
Rui Vitória will have to boost the confidence inside his team and good thing is he can do it at home turf, where Benfica is unbeaten since early December when they lost to Napoli in the Champions League groups. Meanwhile, the last domestic home loss of Benfica dates more than an year ago when they lost exactly to Porto – 1-2 on 12 February 2016.
The 46-year-old Vitória is keen to avoid such a scenario and he hopes to have two crucial names back in the squad. First of them is Swedish defender Victor Lindelöf who picked up an injury on international duty and missed their friendly against Portugal. Other doubtful position is related with name of Serb midfielder Lubomir Fejsa, who still recovers and we won’t be surprised if his Greek teammate Andreas Samaris starts alongside Pizzi. Another option to cover eventual absence of Fejsa is а polyvalent Portugese defender André Almeida.
Alejandro Grimaldo and winter signing Filipe Augusto are both players who will surely miss out, as Grimaldo still recovers from a long-term injury.
Porto have lost just one league game this season and that happened back in August when they were defeated by Sporting in Lisbon. Since getting in gear, they have done extremely well and even took a revenge from Sporting CP at home earlier in February.
Anyhow, Porto faces trouble when they have to break tight defenses and playing against Benfica in Lisbon will be a completely different challenge compared to previous visits against Estoril, Vitoria Guimaraes, Boavista and Arouca. All of them were won by Porto but before that “Dragons” were winners in just one out of six domestic games on the road.
Good news for the home team boss Nuno Espírito Santo are related with fact he doesn’t have any injury concerns, so Porto head to Lisbon with strongest possible squad.
Benfica vs FC Porto Betting Prediction
One of biggest derbies in Portuguese football is highly anticipated and both sides have their different perspectives for choosing an appropriate approach into it.
Benfica find themselves in a better position as hosts can sit back and rely on speedy counters with lethal finishing. Even a tie can be a positive result and with goal scorer Kostas Mitroglou on top of the formation, Porto’s defenders must always keep an eye on him. Moreover, presence of Jonas from second position should not be underestimated at all, not to mention about players who can push through both wings.
Porto are bound to take control of the situation and team can pull out inspiration from their past few matches vs Benfica. Of course, this can’t be a real factor on the pitch and “Dragons” have to produce their best effort to outplay their enemy when it comes to aggression, while Nuno Espírito Santo prepares for a tactical duel with Rui Vitória.
Under these circumstances we are ready to give slight advantage to a side which pretends to be more organized at the back. Our stake goes upon the home side and we recommend betting on Benfica with Asian Handicap 0 (Draw No Bet) as an additional insurance.
Venue: “Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica”, Lisbon.
Referee: Carlos Xistra.
Possible Lineups of Benfica and FC Porto
SL Benfica: Ederson – Nelson Semedo, Victor Lindelöf, Luisão, Eliseu – Toto Salvio, Pizzi, Andreas Samaris, Andrija Zivkovic – Jonas, Kostas Mitroglou. (4-4-2)
FC Porto: Iker Casillas – Maxi Pereira, Felipe, Ivan Marcano, Alex Telles – Danilo Pereira – Jesus Corona, Oliver Torres, Yacine Brahimi – Francisco Soares, Andre Silva. (4-1-3-2)