Monday, May 27, 2024

Preview: Benfica vs. Sporting Lisbon – prediction, team news, lineups

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Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Taca de Portugal clash between Benfica and Sporting Lisbon, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Benfica welcome Sporting Lisbon to Estadio da Luz on Tuesday night looking to overturn a first-leg deficit in the semi-final of the Taca de Portugal.

The Eagles are hoping to make it into the final of this competition for the first time since 2020-21, while the Leoes also hope they can end their four-year wait for another Taca de Portugal final appearance.

Match preview

© Reuters

Benfica suffered a 2-1 defeat to Sporting Lisbon at Estadio Jose Alvalade in the first leg of their Taca de Portugal semi-final on February 29.

The Eagles trailed by two goals in the 54th minute after Pedro Goncalves and Viktor Gyokeres found the net for the Lions. Fredrik Aursnes halved the deficit in the 68th minute, offering Benfica a lifeline.

Roger Schmidt‘s men followed that defeat with a disappointing 5-0 loss to Porto in the league. However, they have since gone unbeaten in five matches across all competitions, winning the last four, including their most recent 1-0 win over Chaves on Friday.

Benfica are still in contention for a treble this season as they are just one point behind Sporting in the league, although they have played a game more, and are also in the quarter-final of the Europa League, where they will face Marseille, plus the chance to reach the Taca de Portugal final.

The Eagles have played Sporting twice this season, once in the league and once in this competition. Both sides have won one match each, both by a 2-1 scoreline for the side at home on both occasions.

If this trend continues on Tuesday, the match will go into extra time and possibly penalties. However, both teams will be hoping to avoid this as they face each other again in the league just four days after the semi-final.

Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim reacts on November 12, 2023© Reuters

Sporting Lisbon head into this match following a comeback 2-1 victory over Estrela Amadora on Friday night, which keeps them top of the Primeira Liga.

The Lions fell behind when Leonel Bucca scored for Estrela in the 16th minute, but goals from Paulinho and Nuno Santos secured the win before half time.

Ruben Amorim‘s team are already out of the Europa League after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Atalanta BC in the round of 16. This leaves them with only the Primeira Liga and Taca de Portugal titles to fight for.

Benfica currently stand in their way for both trophies, but Sporting hold a slight advantage in both situations and could potentially reach the final and extend their league lead this week.

Benfica Taca de Portugal form:

Benfica form (all competitions):

Sporting Lisbon Taca de Portugal form:

Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions):

Team News

Marcos Leonardo celebrates scoring for Benfica in February 2024© Reuters

Benfica have no injury or suspensions to worry about heading into this clash, leaving Schmidt with a wealth of options to choose from.

Spanish defender Juan Bernat returned to the squad against Chaves for the first time since October when he suffered a muscle injury.

Marcos Leonardo was rested for the last match but should return to lead the line on Tuesday, with the Eagles’ top scorer Rafa Silva playing behind the striker.

Sporting Lisbon remain without midfielder Goncalves, who has been sidelined since coming off injured midway through the Europa League game against Atalanta on March 14.

He is joined on the Leoes’ injury table by Spanish goalkeeper Antonio Adan, who has missed each of the last seven matches through a thigh problem.

Gyokeres is having an unforgettable season, having scored 36 times in 40 appearances across all competitions and he should lead the line once again.

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Trubin; Bah, Morato, Otamendi, Aursnes; Luis, Neves; Di Maria, Silva, Mario; Leonardo

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Israel; Diomande, Coates, Reis; Catamo, Hjulmand, Morita, Paulinho; Trincao, Gyokeres, Santos

SM words green background

We say: Benfica 1-1 Sporting Lisbon

We expect this match to be a very tight affair as both sides have several quality players that should cancel each other out. There is a feeling that both sides will be cautious and smart with their approach given that they will face off in the league once again on Saturday. We are calling a draw but both sides should find the net in this one.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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