Vitoria Guimaraes vs. SL Benfica / League NOS – Even though this is a not a duel between teams from the Big Three of the Portuguese football, this is the derby of the round. Guimaraes had a great season and they are in fifth place, following the leading teams, without too many points less. Their current form is also excellent because they are in a series of four wins, one of which is in the Cup. Benfica has the same series of four wins and also one in the Cup, and they are the leaders on the table with eight points more than their host. The special charm to this duel gives information that Guimaraes is usually a very tough nut for Benfica, which last season celebrated in both their mutual duels, but only with 1-0. In recent pass, it also used to happen that the favoured Benfica loses in this away match. Begins: 07.01.2017. – 19:15 CET
Guimaraes is a refreshment this season in the Portuguese football, because it is quite expected that Benfica and Porto are in the top two places, and that Sporting and Braga are also still at the top, but at this point Guimaraes has the same number of points as Sporting, which is only two less than third-ranked Braga and four less than the second Porto. They have suffered only three defeats this season, of which one at home, but they have at home won more points because they made six wins and in this segment Benfica is simply better.
It can be said that they have made only one blunder and that was when they lost to Viseu, after which they played four rounds without defeat and first they played a draw with Chaves and then made three wins. Before the break, they celebrated against Arouce with 1-0, and it should be noted that they qualified for the Cup quarterfinals. In the League Cup, they also play the group stage and it is interesting that their next opponent will be Benfica. After celebration against Setubal, coach Martins made some changes in the offensive part of the team, so Teixeira and Hurtado were absent, because they are injured. Now scorer Marega will not be in the team, who is at the African Cup of Nations and that is certainly a big handicap, while Bruno Gaspar is also questionable.
Probable lineups Vitoria Guimaraes: D.Jesus – Aurelio, Henrique, Josue, Konan – Pedro, Miranda – Hernani, Hurtado, Raphinha – Soares
Benfica is holds the first place with four points more than Porto, however, there should be no relaxation and they are aware that this game carries a lot of risk, so in case of bad results, they could lose these advantages. They have just that one defeat, which happened against a similar quality team, Maritima, and they learned a lesson that they should not underestimate.
After that defeat, they defeated Sporting in the big derby and further increased their self-confidence, which was followed by another two victories without any goals received. They first defeated Estoril with 1-0 and it was not at all easy. Before the break they defeated Rio Ave with 2-0. They reached the quarter-finals of the Cup, where they will meet with Leixoes and there should not be problems. At the beginning of this calendar year, they celebrated in the League Cup over Wiesel with 4-0 and particularly pleasing is that Jonas scored two goals, who returns after injury. Therefore, only Eliseu, Grimaldi and Salvia are out of action for this match.
Probable lineups SL Benfica: Ederson – Samedo, Luisao, Lindelof, Almeida – Fejsa, Cervi, Rafa Silva, Pizzi – Mitroglou, Jonas
Vitoria Guimaraes vs. SL Benfica PICK
Guimaraes is very good this season and they will now at home be especially motivated against the leader of the table. Of course they want to make a good result, while a new tradition shows that they might be quite unpleasant rivals. Benfica, on the other hand, does not have too much room for losing points and they are aware that they will not have an easy task, which is why we expect a more cautious game and a match with a small number of goals.
Pick: under 2.5 goals
Odds: 1.95 at bet365 (down to 1.85 can be played)