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Oct 30, 2021 at 7pm UK
EstorilEstoril Praia
Rosier (90')
Lourenco (42'), Africo (54'), Geraldes (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Verissimo (2')
Radonjic (55'), Verissimo (75')

Preview: Estoril Praia vs. Benfica - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Seeking to extend their lead at the top of the Primeira Liga standings, Benfica travel to the Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota to lock horns with Estoril Praia on Saturday.

The hosts, who have settled in nicely in the big leagues, find themselves in an impressive fourth place and will be looking to strengthen their position in the upper echelons of the table.

Match preview

Estoril Praia returned to winning ways in the top flight as they cruised to a 2-0 victory over Portimonense at the Estadio Municipal de Portimao last Sunday.

Following an uneventful first half, Andre Franco broke the deadlock just before the hour mark before Bruno Lourenco made sure of the result with his second goal of the season.

Prior to that, Bruno Pinheiro's men ended their run of three games without a win as they progressed into the fourth round of the Taca de Portugal courtesy of Leonardo Ruiz's 37th-minute penalty.

After clinching the Segunda Liga title to confirm their promotion last term, Estoril Praia have been the surprise package of the season so far as they currently sit in fourth place after picking up 18 points from the opening nine games.

This has been owing to both their attacking brilliance and defensive sturdiness as they boast one of the division's best records with just seven goals conceded, while netting 14 goals at the opposite end of the pitch.

While the Canaries will be looking to keep the juggernaut rolling, they face the daunting task of taking on an opposing side who have won each of the most recent five meetings between the sides and are unbeaten in the last 17.

Meanwhile, Benfica failed to arrest their slump in form as they bottled a two-goal lead twice before settling for a 3-3 draw with Vitoria de Guimaraes in Group A of the Taca da Liga last time out.

In a thrilling and action-packed contest at the Dom Afonso Henriques, an own goal from Alpha Semedo and Pizzi's 15th minute strike put the visitors two goals up before Andre Andre pulled one back six minutes later.

However, after Nemanja Radonjic restored Benfica's two-goal lead two minutes before the half-hour mark, Oscar Estupinan halved the deficit for the hosts once again on the stroke of half time before Bruno Duarte forced a share of the spoils with his first goal of the season seven minutes away from time.

Despite their recent struggles, Jorge Jesus will be satisfied with his side's position in the table as they currently sit at the top of the pile after picking up eight wins from their opening nine games.

This has been owing to their free-scoring frontmen, who have netted the second-most goals in the division with 20, just behind Porto, who have scored 21 goals so far.

As Aguias head into Saturday's game in a blistering run of 12 away wins on the trot, stretching back to February 21, when they were held to a goalless draw by Farense at the Estadio de Sao Luis.

Estoril Praia Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Estoril Praia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W

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

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

Team News

Estoril Praia head into the game with a full strength squad meaning Pinheiro has the luxury of naming his strongest possible XI this weekend.

With his goal versus Portimonense last time out, Franco now has five goals and one assist under his belt this term and the 23-year-old midfielder will definitely be one to look out for.

Benfica, on the other hand, have several issues to contend with in defence as the trio of Andre Almeida, Valentino Lazaro and Gil Dias have all been sidelined through injuries.

Further up the pitch, Portuguese midfielder Gedson Fernandes is ruled out of the game after sustaining an injury against Vitoria de Guimaraes on September 25.

Swiss forward Haris Seferovic, who has two goals under his belt this term, will play no part on Saturday after picking up a muscle injury while on international duty against Northern Ireland.

Estoril Praia possible starting lineup:
Figueira; Soria, Patrick, Africo, Joaozinho; Geraldes, Gamboa, Franco; Gomes, Lourenco, Fonte

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

We say: Estoril Praia 1-2 Benfica

Estoril Praia, who have so far been the dark horse of the Primeira Liga, find themselves in the upper echelons of the standings after a series of impressive results. While Benfica have struggled to hit their stride of late, they possess enough firepower capable of overturning this dry spell and we predict they will extend their dominance over the hosts and claim all three points in this one.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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