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Benfica v Porto Preview & Tips: Primeira Liga title at stake in fierce Clássico encounter
Benfica host Porto in a huge game that is likely to decide the Portuguese league title
Benfica welcome Porto to the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon in the match of the season in Portugal. The Eagles lead the Dragons by a single point at the top of the table with just five games to go.
Benfica are on the cusp of their fifth consecutive Portuguese league title. A win against Porto on Sunday will virtually assure Rui Vitória’s side the Primeira Liga title with just five games remaining. The Eagles have lost just one domestic game all season, a 2-1 defeat at Boavista in September.
Benfica have won their last nine matches, scoring 28 goals while conceding just four. Last weekend at Vitória Setúbal the Eagles left it late but eventually came away with a 2-1 win courtesy of a Raúl Jiménez penalty in injury time. Jiménez scored both goals in the victory in the absence of leading scorer Jonas who missed his first game of the season with a back issue.
The 34-year-old Brazilian striker has been incredible this season with 33 goals scored in 28 appearances. Benfica have dangerous players across the pitch including Franco Cervi, Pizzi and Eduardo Salvio. Vitória will hope to have Jonas and Salvio back for the big game against Porto but Filip Krovinovic won’t play again this season.
Porto were Primeira Liga leaders for most of the season but recently relinquished their lead with a 2-0 defeat at Belenenses. That defeat marked their second consecutive loss away from home after a 1-0 loss at Paços de Ferreira which has allowed Benfica to overtake them in first position.
Sérgio Conceição’s side have faltered at the wrong time of the season but can still salvage their season with a win in the Clássico. Moussa Marega and Vincent Aboubakar have scored 35 league goals between them this season with Alex Telles and Yacine Brahimi forming a devastating partnership on the left wing.
Danilo Pereira recently suffered a season ending injury but Conceição will be hoping to have Moussa Marega back for the trip to Lisbon.
These clubs have shared the spoils in their last three encounters including a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture in December. Goals have been hard to come by in recent years with an average of 1.43 goals scored in their last seven matches.
The atmosphere at the Estádio da Luz will be electric for this game but Benfica will need to be wary of a dangerous Porto side that will be out to spoil the party.
- Benfica are undefeated in their last 37 home matches (Primeira Liga).
- Benfica have won 13 of their 14 home matches this season (Primeira Liga).
- Benfica have kept a clean sheet in their last 4 home matches (Primeira Liga).
- Porto have won 13 of their last 16 matches (Primeira Liga).
- Benfica and Porto have seen under 2.5 goals in 6 of the last 7 meetings (Primeira Liga).
Benfica know a win will virtually guarantee them a fifth consecutive Primeira Liga title but a loss could have a disastrous effect. Porto might be content to come away with a draw knowing that the Eagles still have to travel to Sporting CP in the penultimate game of the season.
Nothing has separated these sides in their last three meetings, and in the current situation a draw won’t be a bad result for either club.
Best Bet: Draw at 3.20