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Oct 24, 2021 at 6pm UK

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

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

The Portuguese Primeira Liga returns with a fresh set of thrilling fixtures as Vizela welcome league leaders Benfica to the Estadio do Futebol Clube de Vizela on Sunday.

The hosts head into the game off the back of progressing into the next round of the Taca de Portugal, while the visitors suffered a humbling home defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Match preview

Vizela were involved in a share of the spoils once again as they played out a 1-1 draw with Santa Clara when the sides squared off on October 2.

Following a drab first half, substitute Jean Patric broke the deadlock to put Os Acoreanos ahead 11 minutes after coming on, but Cassiano grabbed a dramatic 97th-minute equaliser to force a share of the spoils.

The Vizelenses have now picked up five draws on the bounce in the league since a 4-0 loss against Vitoria de Guimaraes at the Dom Afonso Henriques back in August.

With eight points from their opening eight outings, Vizela are currently 12th in the Primeira Liga table but could rise as high as eighth place with a win this weekend.

Alvaro Pacheco's men head into the game off the back of a 2-0 victory over Vitoria de Setubal in the third round of the Taca de Portugal and the Portuguese manager will hope his side can build on that performance and put together a fine run of form as they look to strengthen their position in the top half of the table in the coming weeks.

However, they face the daunting task of going up against an opposing side who have picked up wins in each of the most recent two meetings between the sides, scoring six goals and conceding one in that time.

Benfica, meanwhile, were denied a second consecutive win in Group E of the Champions League last Wednesday when they suffered a humbling 4-0 defeat against German heavyweights Bayern Munich.

After putting on a solid defensive performance to keep the scores level heading into the break, the Portuguese side imploded in the second half as the Bundesliga champions netted four goals to claim their third straight win of the campaign.

Prior to that, Jorge Jesus's men picked up a 2-1 win over Trofense to progress into the fourth round of the Taca de Portugal courtesy of goals from Everton and Andre Almeida.

Benfica now return to the Primeira Liga where they suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Portimonense when the sides met at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on October 3.

However, As Aguias currently lead the way in the Primeira Liga standings with 21 points from eight outings, and this has been down to their stellar all-round display as they boast the league's deadliest attack with 19 goals scored, while shipping just five at the opposite end of the pitch.

Vizela Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D

Vizela form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W

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

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

Team News

Vizela remain without the services of Portuguese goalkeeper Pedro Silva, who continues his spell on the sidelines through an injury he sustained back in February against Casa Pia.

Ivory Coast midfielder Hugues Zagbayou, who has been out of action since picking up a severe injury back in December 2020, returned to the fold last time out as he was handed a 13-minute cameo against Vitoria de Setubal.

Benfica, on the other hand, will head into the game without the services of several key players down the spine of the team as defender Valentino Lazaro, midfielder Gedson Fernandes and forward Rodrigo Pinho have all been sidelined through injuries.

Almeida hobbled off the pitch injured in the 39th minute against Bayern Munich last time out and should the Portuguese defender fail to shake off his injury, he could be replaced by fellow countryman Diogo Goncalves.

Swiss forward Haris Seferovic, who has netted two goals this term, is set to sit out his ninth consecutive game after the 29-year-old sustained a muscle problem while on international duty against Northern Ireland.

Vizela possible starting lineup:
Charles; Kouao, Wilson, Fernandes, Afonso; Paulo, Claudemir; Zohi, Samu, Moreira; Schettine

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

We say: Vizela 0-2 Benfica

Following their humbling Champions League defeat, Benfica will head into the game seeking to restore some pride. While Vizela will be looking to build on their cup win, the visitors sit at the top of the Primeira Liga standings for a reason and we predict they will find their feet 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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Primeira Liga Table
3Sporting Lisbon97201441023
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7Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes9342118313
9Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira9243811-310
10Gil Vicente92341011-19
17Santa ClaraSanta Clara9135618-126
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