Benfica VS CD Tondela, home wins

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Match Time:1/9/2021 03:00 Saturday  (GMT+8)

Portugal Primera Liga --  Benfica   VS   CD Tondela

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Benfica play host to Tondela on Friday evening looking to keep pace with Sporting Lisbon and Porto in the Primeira Liga title race.

Meanwhile, the visitors make the trip to Estadio da Luz on the back of a 1-0 victory over Famalicao, a result which moved the club into 13th position in the table.

 

Match preview

With Sporting Lisbon showing no signs of faltering in first place, Benfica boss Jorge Jesus knows that his side can ill-afford many slip-ups if they wish to get back to within touching distance of the leaders.

Even on the back of a four-game winning streak, the 1-1 draw at Santa Clara earlier this week has gifted the initiative back to the frontrunners and second-placed Porto.

The result was even more frustrating for Jesus after witnessing his side establish a half-time lead, and it was the third game in succession where they have not netted a goal after the break.

Jesus will not have too many long-term concerns regarding that statistic, although their lack of impact in the final third since the start of December will not have gone unnoticed by their rivals.

Sporting could be seven points clear by the time that Benfica take to the pitch on Friday night, but Jesus will stress to his squad that they must remain focused on their own fixtures.

That message is especially required for an encounter against opponents who have been excellent on their last three visits to Estadio da Luz.

Four points have been claimed during those games, including a point which was secured from a goalless draw as recently as June.

Although Tondela currently find themselves down in 13th position, they will feel better equipped to take confidence from their previous head-to-heads having defeated Famalicao on Sunday.

On the back of two outstanding performances away at Porto in different competitions, two clean sheets have been recorded in three contests, and everything is set up for them to pull off another surprise result.

 

Benfica Primeira Liga form: LWWWWD

Benfica form (all competitions): WDWLWD

Tondela Primeira Liga form: WLLDLW

Tondela form (all competitions): LLLDLW

 

Team News

Having scored in successive games, Darwin Nunez should keep his place in the Benfica attack.

However, Pizzi could return to the side in the number 10 role, taking the spot of Gian-Luca Waldschmidt.

Jesus will also be able to call upon Nicolas Otamendi after the centre-back completed a one-match ban.

Joel Sousa could return for Tondela if he records a negative coronavirus test, while Bebeto and Naoufel Khacef have both served one-match suspensions.

Nevertheless, Pako Ayestaran may keep faith with the players who battled their way to success against Famalicao.

 

Benfica possible starting lineup:

Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Rafa, Weigl, Taarabt, Everton; Pizzi; Nunez

Tondela possible starting lineup:

Niasse; Almeida, Tavares, Martinez, Ferreira; Pedro, Grau, Augusto; Agra, Gonzalez, Murillo

 

Benfica 3-1 Tondela

 

Benfica VS CD Tondela, home wins

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