Maritimo vs Benfica Prediction, Preview, Lineups, H2H & Betting Tips
Maritimo vs Benfica prediction ahead of another tied Primera Liga clash on Sunday night, 1 October 2017. Marítimo are determined to take advantage of Benfica’s nightmarish midweek commitment and to maintain their strong home form. Read what our betting experts have to say in our detailed match preview, predictions and free betting tips.
H2H History: Maritimo vs Benfica
Last time both teams met was in mid-April when Benfica won convincingly (3:0) at their own Estadio da Luz. That was their third matchup in the 2016-17 season where except another game in Lisbon (Benfica won 6:0 in the Portuguese Cup 1/16 finals), Maritimo were one of the only two sides who have beaten Benfica in the Primeira Liga. The 2:1 victory was last December at their own Estádio dos Barreiros in Funchal, which was the first win of Maritimo over Benfica since August 2013 and it came after 8 consecutive defeats.
Primeira Liga: Maritimo vs Benfica 01.10.2017
We have a clash between two of the leading Primeira Liga sides which remains in shadow of the major round 8 game in Lisbon, where Sporting CP takes on Porto. Meanwhile, the other leading Lisbon side and reigning champion Benfica head to Madeira’s capital Funchal, for an encounter against hosts Maritimo. Both teams are neighbours in the Primeira Liga standings as after seven rounds Maritimo occupies the fourth position, being on only a point behind its crowned opposition.
In seven home matches on all fronts, Maritimo have six wins and a single draw against Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League playoffs. Moreover, “The Verde-Rubros” have kept a clean sheet in six of these seven games except in their most recent one – a 2:1 win vs Desportivo Aves. It has been followed by a goalless draw vs Sporting in Lisbon (League Cup game) and a 2:1 defeat to Vitória in Guimarães last weekend, but generally coach Daniel Ramos can be pleased with the performance as Maritimo find itself on a point from top 3.
On the other hand Benfica fails to impress and won just once in the last five games. That happened last weekend when Rui Vitoria’s men were victorious (2:0 at home) over Paços de Ferreira, but the only positive in the past few weeks has been followed by a devastating midweek trip to Switzerland. This has to be a night everyone bound to Benfica hopes to forget as soon as possible, since it was one of the worst ever European defeats of “The Eagles” – a 5:0 loss to Basel. Thus Rui Vitoria is under tremendous pressure although Benfica’s board have stated their support and faith towards the 47-year-old coach. Nevertheless, every next failure may be his last one in the club and Benfica simply can’t afford another wrong step. In fact, current weekend should open an opportunity for Benfica, when the two other names part of “The Big Three” are set for a head-to-head fixture.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
After three unsuccessful games on the road (a draw and two defeats), “Eagles” will visit a place where hosts feel extremely well and their behaviour promise another tricky test of Benfica’s winning ability.
Rui Vitoria, thankfully, has all players available and he may rotate the squad a bit. Eliseu, who is the only Benfica player called by Portugal’s national team coach for the important World Cup qualifiers, can be an option at the left-back as a replacement of Alex Grimaldo, who was far from convincing in Basel. Andre Dias, Lisandro Lopez, Toto Salvio, Rafa Silva, Filipe Augusto, Andreas Samaris and Haris Seferovic are other players who claim first-team football, but it’s up to Vitoria’s judgment and desire does he really need to make many rotations in the starting lineup. He has some options, anyway.
Against his own will, Daniel Ramos is forced to make some changes in the squad as Zainadine Junior has been sent-off against Vitória Guimarães last week and this opens a gap in heart of Maritimo’s defense. Apart from Zainadine’s suspension, other absentees are the injured Luis Martins, Erdem Sen and Gevorg Ghazaryan, who scored one of the two goals in Benfica’s net last year.
Maritimo vs Benfica Prediction and Betting Tips
Maritimo have not lost a home match in the Primeira Liga for more than a year, since September 2016, when they lost 0:1 to Rio Ave. Ever since Maritimo have 14 wins and 5 draws and this streak includes victories over Braga, Benfica, as well as draws against Sporting and Porto.
Benfica must regain their confidence before the two-legged matchup vs Manchester United, which is crucial for their Champions League destiny. Furthermore, this is the league game before their home match vs Jose Mourinho’s side later in October, and Rui Vitoria must chase a mandatory win.
Our betting prediction goes on the juicy odds for “Both teams to score – Yes“. Absence of a first-team player like Zainadine Junior will surely add some instability in Maritimo’s defense and this can be a game changer. Benfica may benefit of it and Maritimo will have to set a proper response.
Possible Lineups of Maritimo and Benfica
Venue: “Estádio dos Barreiros”, Funchal.
Referee: Manuel Jorge de Sousa.
CS Marítimo: Charles – Fabio China, Pablo Santos, Diney Borges, Bebeto – João Gamboa, Jean Cleber, Fabio Pacheco – Ricardo Valente, Rodrigo Pinho, Edgar Costa. (4-3-3)
SL Benfica: Julio Cesar – Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Luisão, Andre Almeida – Franco Cervi, Andreas Samaris, Pizzi, Andrija Zivkovic – Jonas, Haris Seferovic. (4-4-2)