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Portuguese Primeira Liga Betting Preview: Benfica vs FC Porto

September 29, 2023

Benfica take on FC Porto in O Clássico at the Estádio da Luz on Friday night, September 29th

Benfica claimed a 2-0 win over FC Porto at the Estádio Municipal de Aveiro in the Portuguese Super Cup match on August 9th. Second-half goals from Angel Di Maria and Petar Musa were enough to seal Benfica's Super Cup triumph, while FC Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao and veteran Pepe were both sent off in stoppage time. 

Benfica Betting Preview (+110 at BetOnline)

Having suffered a surprise 3-2 opening day defeat at Boavista, Benfica have won five in a row in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. However, Roger Schmidt's side sit third in the table, one point behind bitter rivals Sporting CP and FC Porto, who are level on 16 points. 

Benfica clinched their 38th Championship last season. It was their first Primeira Liga title since 2019 and Roger Schmidt's men will be keen to defend their domestic crown. However, they must improve their defending as Benfica already conceded 7 goals in the first six league games (their personal worst record in 10 years).

Roger Schmidt's side will travel to face Serie A side Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday. The Eagles already suffered a disappointing 2-0 home defeat in their Champions League opener against RB Salzburg earlier this month and another defeat could be a huge blow to their European ambitions. 

Meanwhile, the Eagles have lost another prolific striker over the summer as Goncalo Ramos was tempted to join French giants PSG. 

Summer signing Anatoliy Trubin arrived in Lisbon from Shakhtar Donetsk as a replacement for Odysseas Vlachodimos, who joined Premier League side Nottingham Forest this summer. The Ukrainian goalkeeper made his debut after the international break and is expected to start in goal. 

Angel Di Maria has been directly involved in six goals in as many domestic games since the Argentina veteran returned to Benfica this summer. 

Remarkably, a young Di Maria has scored a total of seven league goals in three full seasons with Benfica between 2007 and 2010 (before his transfer to Real Madrid) while he already boasts four goals in five top-flight appearances this term. 

However, Di María missed out against Portimonense SC through injury and the Argentine remains a doubt for Friday. Croatian forward Petar Musa (four goals in seven games across all competitions this season) is also doubtful, though he's expected to recover on time. If he's not fully fit, either Arthur Cabral or Casper Tengstedt should start up front. 

With three goals and four assists in six league appearances, Rafa Silva is another standout performer for Benfica this season. The 30-year-old ex-Portugal international is now fully focused on his club career after he retired from international football one year ago. 

FC Porto Betting Preview (+244 at BetOnline)

On the day after the club's 130th anniversary, FC Porto travel to the capital to face Benfica on Friday night. 

The Dragons are yet to lose a game this season following their Super Cup defeat to Benfica in August. However, they were held to a 1-1 home draw with Arouca prior to the international break, with Evanilson scoring deep in stoppage time to rescue a point for them.

Sergio Conceicao's side have won six of their last seven games in all competitions, including a 3-1 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League earlier this month.  

FC Porto are set to resume their Champions League campaign when they take on La Liga champions Barcelona at Estádio do Dragão on Wednesday night. 

Mehdi Taremi had to endure a slow start to the new campaign but the Iranian forward has either scored or assisted in each of his last three appearances for the Dragons (two goals, one assist). 

Ivan Jaime scored his first goal for Porto in the 2-1 home win over Gil Vicente last weekend. The 22-year-old Spanish winger scored 11 goals and added 5 assists in 33 games across all competitions for Famalicão last season and he'll be looking to establish himself as a first-team player in the Portuguese giants. 

Veteran-skipper Pepe will reportedly miss Friday night's derby against Benfica. If the 40-year-old defender is not ready, Fábio Cardoso will likely start at the heart of FC Porto' defense.

Elsewhere, Zaidu Sanusi, Iván Marcano, Gabriel Veron and Evanilson are all injured for the Dragons. 

Possible Starting Lineups of Benfica and FC Porto 

Benfica: Anatoliy Trubin - Alexander Bah, Nicolás Otamendi, António Silva, Fredrik Aursnes - João Neves, Orkun Kökçü - Ángel Di María, Rafa Silva, João Mário - Petar Musa. (4-2-3-1)

FC Porto: Diogo Costa - Wendell, David Carmo, Fábio Cardoso, João Mario - Stephen Eustáquio, Alan Varela - Galeno, Ivan Jaime, André Franco - Mehdi Taremi. (4-2-3-1) 

Spooky Express Betting Prediction 

All in all, The Eagles are aiming to claim their first home win over Porto in five years. Their last success over The Dragons was a 1-0 win in October 2018, with Benfica losing four of their last five home matches against Porto in the Primeira Liga.

Both sides can be prolific upfront, but their defensive performances have been far from impressive. Benfica have kept only one clean sheet in their last five matches across all competitions, whereas FC Porto's defensive record is even worse - they have just one clean sheet this season. 

With that in mind, we can expect chances at both ends and a goal feast for Friday's 'Clássico' at Estádio da Luz.

Spooky Express Free Play: Over 2½ Goals -115 at BetOnline for 7/10 Units