Preview: Benfica vs. Porto

Preview: Benfica vs. Porto

League leaders Porto will be seeking to confirm their 30th Primeira Liga title when they lock horns with third-placed Benfica at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on Saturday.

As Aguias, on the other hand, will head into the game looking to get one over the visitors, having failed to win any of the last eight meetings between the sides since 2019.

Despite their numerical advantage, Benfica were made to work their socks off by 10-man Maritimo last time out when they claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory at the Estadio dos Barreiros.

In a game where Claudio Winck picked up a 42nd-minute red card, 22-year-old forward Darwin Nunez delivered the goods once again as he scored inside the opening two minutes to see off the resilient hosts.

Lucas Verissimo’s side are now unbeaten in each of their most recent four league outings, picking up 10 points from a possible 12 in that time, while losing just twice in their last 16 since the turn of the year.

Benfica have won 22, drawn five and lost five of their 32 games this season to collect 71 points and sit in the Champions League playoff spot, nine points above fourth-placed Braga and eight off second-placed Sporting Lisbon.

While As Aguias will look to keep their fine run going and close out the 2021-2022 campaign on a high, next up is the stern test of taking on Porto in the the highly-anticipated O Classico, where they have failed to taste victory since a 2-1 win in March 2019.

Meanwhile, league leaders Porto avoided an upset and moved within touching distance of the league crown last Saturday when they claimed a 4-2 victory against a dogged Vizela side on home turf.

After going two goals up courtesy of Evanilson and Mehdi Taremi, Alex Mendez and Nuno Moreira found the target to draw the visitors level, but Chancel Mbemba put the hosts ahead with a 57th-minute strike before Taremi made sure of the win with his second of the game in the 87th minute.

Prior to that, Sergio Conceicao’s side saw their run of 58 games without a league defeat come to an end when they were beaten 1-0 by Braga on April 25 courtesy of Ricardo Horta’s 54th-minute winner.

With two games to go before the 2021-2022 campaign draws to a close, Porto’s 30th Primeira Liga title is now all but confirmed as they boast a six-point lead over second-placed Sporting Lisbon with a goal difference of +16.

The Dragoes will also be eying their best-ever point tally in the Portuguese top flight as they currently sit just three points adrift of their 2017-18 title-winning campaign where they finished with 88 points.

Benfica Primeira Liga form:
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Benfica form (all competitions):
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Porto Primeira Liga form:
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Porto form (all competitions):
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We say: Benfica 1-2 Porto
Saturday’s game sees two of the Portuguese “Big Three” go head to head and this makes for a thrilling and exciting watch. Porto are unbeaten in each of their last eight games against the hosts and we predict they will keep this fine run going and come away with a slender victory.

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