3 - 0
Feb 3, 201315:15 Live
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Stadium: Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) (Lisboa)
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It has been a very long time since V. Setubal defeated Benfica at the Estadio da Luz for the Portuguese League. It was on August 30th in 1987 when the Sadinos last managed a win against Benfica in Lisbon for the league. A second minute goal from Aparicio was enough to earn V. Setubal the three points.
On Sunday, V. Setubal may not have Aparicio to save the day, but they can at least hope that former Benfica striker Ariza Makukula can help earn them at least a point.
Cameroon striker Albert Meyong has been V. Setubal's leading scorer this season with 13 goals, but his transfer to Angolan side Kabuscorp will keep him out of this match.
"Meyong helped us a lot and I hope he has success. He will not play on Sunday. It was a decision we made this week and I am not going to elaborate on the matter," said Jose Mota, V. Setubal's manager.
Despite missing his leading scorer this season, Jose Mota is confident of his squad.
"We need to be fully focused. It will be a very difficult match, possibly one of the most difficult we have this season. We need to know how to suffer on the pitch, but we have enough talent to have a good match."
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus knows that he can not lose points if he wants to keep the title race tight, especially at home.
"The squad feels good, and we are having a great season in the domestic league which is what we need to do if we want to stay even with Porto," said the Benfica manager.
Without Paraguay international Oscar Cardozo, Jesus should not have to worry much given his clubs dominance over the years in this fixture.
From 83 meetings at the Estadio da Luz in all competitions, V. Setubal has only managed to win six while drawing nine. A total of 68 victories for the home side with 255 goals scored for Benfica and only 69 conceded.
08-26-12 V. Setubal 0-5 Benfica
05-12-12 V. Setubal 1-3 Benfica
01-14-12 Benfica 4-1 V. Setubal
02-06-11 V. Setubal 0-2 Benfica
08-28-10 Benfica 3-0 V. Setubal
02-06-10 V. Setubal 1-1 Benfica
The visitors are in a very tight relegation battle with even a point on Sunday lifting them out of the relegation zone. What are the chances that they get that point? Well, given their recent history at the Estadio da Luz, those odds do not look all that great.
In their last five visits to Lisbon, V. Setubal has managed one point from a possible 15. They also conceded 20 goals while only scoring four. Those numbers do not look very promising for Jose Mota's side, especially when you take a look at how well Benfica has been playing this season.
With the worst defense in the league, V. Setubal has conceded 33 goals in the current campaign. They have also only managed to keep Benfica off the score-sheet on five occasions in 83 matches at the Estadio da Luz.
They have yet to win an away match and Sunday does not look very promising for them to change that.
Benfica's current form continues to impress as they will be knowing they need the victory after Porto brushed V. Guimaraes aside on Saturday. Failure to win would allow their rivals to distance themselves in a title race that looks like it may come down to the wire.
Jorge Jesus is aware of that as are his players. Playing a match at home against a bottom of the table side of which they consistently dominate at home, Benfica will be expected to win and by a significant margin.
The Aguias are a strong outfit, especially when they play at home. Feeding off the crowd's energy gives the players that added confidence to take their game to the next level.
Having Cardozo out of the side yet again should not be a problem as Lima has done a very impressive job stepping up when needed.
Leaving Lisbon with a minimum defeat of one goal would almost be like a victory for Jose Mota. Limiting Benfica's scoring chances will be extremely difficult, so not allowing them to score in the first 20 minutes is vital.
If the hosts get on the board early enough, Jose Mota's strategy will have to change, allowing more space for Benfica to cause problems for the Sadino's.
Benfica 4-0 V. Setubal