Benfica will look to put their poor 2021 form behind them and win back-to-back Primeira Liga games for the first time since December when they travel to Moreirense on Sunday at 8.15pm (UK time).
Just two wins from seven since the turn of the year has seriously hampered Benfica’s prospects of lifting the Primeira Liga title, with Lisbon rivals Sporting CP now 11 points ahead of Jorge Jesus’ men — and incredibly still unbeaten. If The Eagles are to offer a threat heading into Spring, then they cannot afford to see further points fall by the wayside.
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Where to watch Moreirense vs Benfica on TV:
- UK: FreeSports
- US: GolTV
Scoreline prediction: Moreirense 0-2 Benfica
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Moreirense vs Benfica build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
The hosts have made a strong start to the New Year under recently-appointed Vasco Seabra, who has got The Green and whites resembling a more cohesive and menacing unit, losing just one of their last six games, and welcoming Benfica to Braga off the back of two successive wins.
For Jesus it has been a slightly more concerning start to 2021, with the capital club now down to fourth in the table and struggling to keep pace with runaway leaders Sporting CP. The reverse fixture against Moreirense was a comfortable 2-0 victory and Jesus could do with a similar result here to dispel the recent pressure.
- Moreirense (vs Farense): Pasinato; Vitoria*, Rosic, Ba; D’Alberto, Soares*, Pacheco, Conte; Yan, Rodrigues, Walterson.
- Benfica (vs Estoril Praia): Leite; Goncalves, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Pedrinho, Pires, Pizzi, Everton; Silva, Nunez.
Sori Mane, Pedro Amador and Pedro Nuno remain long-term absentees for the hosts, while Seabra will also be without Goncalo Franco and the suspended duo of Alex Soares and Steven Vitoria. Benfica meanwhile enter this contest without the services of Andre Almeida and Jardel.
Players to watch:
- Moreirense: Goals have come at a premium at the Parque Joaquim de Almeida Freitas this season, with Moreirense so far playing more games (18) than finding the back of the net (17). It will be concerning for Seabra that having passed the halfway mark of the campaign, his top scorer remains on just three goals, but 22-year-old Yan has been directly involved in at least double the number of goals of any player in the Moreirense squad (four, three goals, one assist). Moreirense have four players on two goals apiece after Yan, including veteran centre-back Steven Vitoria — who is suspended for this contest — but not one of those has registered an assist. So, while Seabra will need some of his other players to come to the fore and start contributing more frequently in the final third, Yan remains the most important component of Moreirense’s frontline.
- Benfica: The dip in consistency of Jesus’ side has coincided with Darwin Nunez‘s own patchy form, with the highly-coveted Uruguayan ending a five game scoreless run last time out against Famalicao. He then followed up with a clinical brace against Estoril Praia in the Taca de Portugal, and Jesus will be hoping his summer recruit can continue that prolific form on Sunday to keep Benfica just about in the title race conversation and generate some momentum heading into a Europa League double bill against Arsenal later this month.
Primeira Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Moreirense: WWLDW
- Benfica: WDLDD
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