Benfica continue their push for a place in next season’s Champions League group phase when they welcome Gil Vicente to Estádio da Luz for a Primeira Liga showdown on Saturday evening (18:00 UK time).
Jorge Jesus’ men trail only rivals Sporting and FC Porto in the standings while this weekend’s visitors sit comfortably in mid-table, albeit still in danger of being sucked into a relegation battle.
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Where to watch Benfica vs Gil Vicente on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: GOLTV
Scoreline prediction: Benfica 2-1 Gil Vicente
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Benfica vs Gil Vicente build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
A run of six consecutive wins and 24 points from the last 30 available has seen Benfica strengthen their case for a top-two finish. Heading into this latest round of fixtures, the Eagles are three points behind rivals FC Porto with eight Primeira Liga matches remaining. Jorge Jesus’ men are within touching distance of leaders Sporting, who are nine points ahead, but the chances of them lifting a 38th league title seem remote.
They’ve been near flawless at Estádio da Luz, having won 10 of 13 games while registering 27 goals and conceding 12 times. Across their most recent outings the hosts are on a four-game winning streak, keeping a clean sheet in each game.
Gil Vicente meanwhile come into this weekend’s game seeking a return to successful ways after seeing a three-game winning run — their longest streak in the league since backend of last season — end last time out against Moreirense, who ran out 1-2 winners. Consequently it leaves the visitors rooted in mid-table but four points above the relegation zone. Ricardo Soares’ side have slowly turned it around on the road, having won their last two games away from home (2-4 v Vitoria Guimaraes and 0-2 v Rio Ave). However it might be asking too much for them to leave Benfica with all three points; their last success at Estádio da Luz came in August 2005 and since then it’s been five consecutive defeats, including a 2-0 loss last time out.
- Benfica (vs Paços de Ferreira): Leite; Otamendi, Veríssimo, Vertonghen; Gonçalves, Taarabt, Weigl, Grimaldo; Waldschmidt, Rafa Silva; Seferovic.
- Gil Vicente (vs Moreirense): Denis; Pereira, Nogueira, Fernandes, Talocha; Afonso, Gonçalves, Pedrinho; Fujimoto, Marques, Lourency.
André Almeida (knee), Gabriel (hamstring) and Andreas Samaris (achilles) are the only players absent for Benfica this weekend. Ygor Nogueira serves a one-match ban for Gil Vicente who also miss injured duo Miullen (knee) and Alaa Abbas (ankle).
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Player to watch: Haris Seferovic (Benfica)
A stretch of eight games has seen Haris Seferovic enter the race for this season’s golden shoe. The 29-year-old Swiss marksman has bagged nine goals during that aforementioned period, which has seen him move onto 16 for the campaign and join Sporting midfielder Pedro Gonçalves atop of the standings. Last time out against Paços Ferreira, Seferovic registered a brace in their 0-5 win while creating a further two goals. It subsequently brings the Benfica striker to within seven goals of his best return (23 – 2018/19) for the club. He’s also the Eagle’s leading scorer at home this season, with 10 goals across 12 appearances.
Primeira Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Benfica: WWWWW
- Gil Vicente: LWWWL
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