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Nov 27, 2021 at 8.30pm UK
FT(HT: 0-7)
Kau (1' og.), Seferovic (14', 39' pen.), Weigl (27'), Nunez (32', 36', 45')

Preview: Belenenses vs. Benfica - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Belenenses vs. Benfica - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Belenenses and Benfica, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Benfica will look to climb to the summit of the Primeira Liga table on Saturday, when they travel to take on Belenenses.

As Aguias recently dropped from top spot in the Portuguese top flight, but they remain just one point off league leaders Porto in third place.

Match preview

Belenenses had to endure a poor start to the Primeira Liga campaign, failing to win any of their opening eight games and collecting just four points to immediately sink to the bottom end of the division.

That triggered the departure of former boss Petit, who guided them to an 11th-placed finish last season, and Filipe Candido quickly took over, earning a valuable point in a goalless draw away at Boavista in his first game at the helm.

O Belem then managed to put their first league victory of the season on the board at the 10th time of asking, as Pedro Nuno snatched all three points in the 93rd minute after Allano had previously cancelled out Safira's opener with a late equaliser for their fellow strugglers.

However, they were unable to make it back-to-back wins in their most recent top-flight outing, as a trip to Portimonense resulted in a 2-0 loss, although their struggling attack may have regained some confidence after a dramatic 5-3 cup win over Caldas on Sunday.

Now sitting in the relegation playoff place on eight points from 11 games, O Belem have the chance to jump out of the bottom three with a result on Saturday, but they certainly face a tough test.

Jorge Jesus's men arrive in the midst of a push to regain the Primeira Liga title after falling short in the last two seasons.

The Lisbon outfit enjoyed a perfect start, winning their first seven games to top the table, but that run was eventually halted by a shock home defeat to Portimonense, before they bounced back by defeating Vizela 1-0.

After a 1-1 draw away at high-flying Estoril Praia, As Aguias returned to winning ways in eye-catching fashion, thrashing fifth-placed Braga 6-1 thanks to braces from Rafa Silva and Everton Soares and goals from Alex Grimaldo and Darwin Nunez.

Upon their return from the international break, Jesus's men comfortably defeated Pacos de Ferreira 4-1 in the Taca de Portugal, before holding Barcelona to a goalless draw at the Camp Nou in the fifth game of their Champions League group campaign, leaving them third with one game to go after a previous home victory over Barca.

They will now turn their attention back to their title push, with the chance to leapfrog Porto and city rivals Sporting Lisbon with what would be their 10th league win of the campaign on Saturday.

Belenenses Primeira Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Belenenses form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W

Benfica Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Benfica form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Belenenses are expected to remain without midfielder Francisco Teixeira and winger Rafael Camacho, as the pair continue to nurse injuries.

Important forward Safira, who has two goals in his six league appearances, has been absent for their last two games, and Pedro Nuno will likely continue to spearhead the attack if he remains out.

Benfica's only injuries should be forward Rodrigo Pinho and centre-back Lucas Verissimo, with Andre Almeida deputising in the back line alongside Jan Vertonghen and Nicolas Otamendi in the absence of the latter.

After a tough Champions League clash on Wednesday, Jesus may freshen up his side, with Uruguayan forward Darwin Nunez and Swiss star Haris Seferovic both expected to start in the front three.

Adel Taarabt will be pushing for a starting berth, but he has struggled to displace the established pairing of Julian Weigl and Joao Mario and may have to settle for a substitute appearance once again.

Belenenses possible starting lineup:
Felipe; Tavares, Henriques, Ribeiro; Carraca, Phete, Lukovic, Akas; Sousa, Camara, Nuno

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Almeida, Otamendi, Vertonghen; Gilberto, Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo; Silva, Seferovic, Nunez

We say: Belenenses 0-2 Benfica

Belenenses may look slightly refreshed under new management, but we see them being comfortably beaten by Jesus's men on Saturday.

O Belem have struggled going forward while Benfica's collection of attacking stars is tough for any side to keep at bay, and we expect the gulf in class to be clear.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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