Benfica vs Vitoria Setubal Match Preview
A buoyant Benfica will be looking to consolidate top spot as they host struggling Vitória de Setúbal at the Estádio da Luz on Saturday night.
Coach Jorge Jesus has got table-topping Benfica firing on all cylinders
The Eagles are soaring after finally pulling away from bitter rivals FC Porto at the table summit after last weekend’s results, albeit only by two points.
Benfica have been in scintillating form of late, scoring no fewer than 13 goals in their last 3 matches. And having lost only once in all competitions this season, perhaps the biggest task Benfica coach Jorge Jesus faces this weekend is to stamp out any complacency among his players.
“Nobody wins a match before it is played. If we think we are the better team we’ll have to prove it on the pitch. We want to defend first place. The Benfica players and coach know that you only achieve things with a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work,” said Jesus.
Should Benfica beat Vitória they will reach the halfway stage of the championship in top spot for the first time in 18 years, but Jesus does not attach much importance to the fact, preferring to concentrate on the three points at stake. “Records are there to be beaten, but records don’t win championships. We want the three points to keep clear of our rival and to retain leadership of the table,” added the charismatic coach.
The Lisbon giants must make do without three first-team regulars. Centre-back Garay and playmaker Pablo Aimar are out injured, while midfield anchorman Javi García is suspended. On the flip side, Argentine trickster Nico Gaitán comes back into the squad after injury.
As has been habitual over recent seasons, Vitória Setúbal look to be facing a long hard battle to avoid relegation. The Sadinos have not won in the league since September and are just two points above the relegation zone.
Vitória coach Bruno Ribeiro acknowledges that his side are facing an uphill battle but insists they will fight all the way for a positive result. “We know we have a difficult, complicated task, against a great team that at this moment are playing the best football in Portugal. But I can guarantee that we will not step onto the field a beaten side, and we will do everything we can to try and earn points,” said Ribeiro.
Kick-off at 6.30pm local time at the Estádio da Luz, Lisbon.
Benfica vs Vitoria Setubal Match Report
Benfica continued their sparkling form with a thumping 4-1 win at home to Vitória de Setúbal to remain two points clear at the top of the table in Portugal.
A huge crowd at the Estádio da Luz were treated to a highly entertaining night in Lisbon.
Neca's deflected shot in the 6th minute gave the visitors a shock lead, but quickly set about turning around the result.
Several chances had already been created and missed before Nolito equalised in the 24th minute.
A quickfire brace from Cardozo then put Benfica 3-1 up and well in charge as the players went into the interval.
Benfica continued to attack with menace in the second half and it was no surprise when Matic headed in goal number four from a well delivered Gaitán cross.
Having scored 17 goals in their last four matches, Benfica look like they will take some stopping this season.