Primeira Liga Matchweek 14 preview: Porto vs. Benfica (Fri - 21:00h. WET/GMT; 22:00h. CET) - Team news, possible lineups

Porto and Benfica square off in Primeira Liga on Friday evening with the teams only separated by goal difference in the standings.

The Portuguese giants, who sit in second and third position respectively, are four points adrift of unbeaten leaders Sporting Lisbon.

Match preview

Having won 15 of their last 16 matches in all competitions, Porto will feel aggrieved that they still remain a considerable distance away from the Primeira Liga pacesetters.

Nevertheless, Sergio Conceicao will have few complaints regarding the performances of a squad who have scored at least twice in their last 10 matches in all competitions.

While it remains to be seen whether being taken to extra time by Nacional in the Taca de Portugal on Tuesday night will impact on his players, Porto will be confident of recording a second win in quick succession over their rivals.

Azuis e brancos prevailed by a 2-0 scoreline in the Portuguese Super Cup on December 23, strengthening the belief that they are performing better than Benfica at this stage of the season.

Midfielder Sergio Oliveira heads into this fixture having scored five goals in his last six matches in all competitions.

Benfica have dropped just two points from their last six outings in Portugal's top flight, but it has only been enough to keep Jorge Jesus's team in third position.

Jesus's side have struggled at times in recent weeks, failing to score more than two goals in any of those league fixtures.

Although Jesus will only care about improving the club's position in the top flight, he will be conscious that his forward line is not firing on all cylinders.

He will hope that a game of this magnitude brings out the best in his attack-minded players, and they should be better for guiding Benfica to a 4-0 win over minnows Estrela in the cup on Tuesday night.

Porto Primeira Liga form: WWWWWW
Porto form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Benfica Primeira Liga form: WWWWDW
Benfica form (all competitions): WLWDWW

Team News

Conceicao is expected to revert back to the team which ruthlessly dispatched of Famalicao last weekend.

That will see the likes of Malang Sarr, Marko Grujic and Toni Martinez all drop down to the substitutes' bench after their outings in the cup.

While Jesus could select the same team which edged past Tondela, there are decisions to be made in the final third.

Chiquinho and Gian-Luca Waldschmidt contributed three of the four goals in the cup, putting themselves in contention for a starting role.

Barcelona loanee Jean-Clair Todibo will not be considered for a place in the first XI after making his first outing for the club in the same game.

Porto possible starting lineup:
Marchesin; Nanu, Mbemba, Leite, Sanusi; Corona, Oliveira, Uribe, Otavio; Marega, Taremi

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Everton, Pizzi, Weigl, Rafa; Seferovic, Nunez

Source: Sports Mole / Darren Plant 



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