Benfica will look to keep pace with current Primeira Liga pace-setters Porto when they travel to Boavista on Friday night (8.15pm kick-off, UK time).
Interim manager Nelson Verissimo has a huge task on his hands if he is to salvage Benfica’s season and mount an improbable title charge. As it stands, the Lisbon-based side are 10 points adrift of their O Classico rivals Porto in the current standings, but a win on Friday against draw-specialists Boavista closes the gap to seven and just ramps up the pressure slightly when Sergio Conceicao’s side travel to Moreirense on Sunday.
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Where to watch Boavista vs Benfica on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: GolTV
Boavista team news
Yusupha Njie recently returned to Boavista having represented Gambia at Afcon 2021, getting an hour run-out against Portimonense at the weekend, so he is expected to retain his position. Elsewhere, starting goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand has dropped out of the starting eleven after picking up an injury in December, with captain and 40-year-old Rafael Bracali now seemingly first-choice. Former Real Madrid and Man City midfielder Javi Garcia recently returned from a seven-game absence to make the field in that aforementioned draw with Portimonense, so he could well start here, while Jackson Porozo is suspended after being sent off in that game.
Boavista predicted XI: Bracali; Santos, Cannon, Garcia, Abascal, Ferreira; Sauer, Perez, Makouta, Njie; Musa.
Benfica team news
Rodrigo Pinho and Lucas Verissimo are both long-term absentees for the visitors, and will likely miss the rest of the campaign after sustaining autumnal ACL ruptures. Haris Seferovic meanwhile has missed the previous four games with a leg injury and remains doubtful for this contest, so the Goncalo Ramos-Darwin Nunez strike partnership will likely be retained by head coach Verissimo.
Benfica predicted XI: Vlachodimos; Lazaro, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Silva, Bernardo, Weigl, Everton; Ramos, Nunez.
Primeira Liga 2021/22 recent form:
- Boavista: DDLDD
- Benfica: WWLWD
Scoreline prediction: Boavista 0-2 Benfica
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