Benfica will host FC Porto in the Primeira Liga on Friday, looking to continue their impressive run of form with a home win.

Benfica are coming into the game against FC Porto on the back of five consecutive victories after losing the opening game of the league. They will be full of confidence and momentum heading into this contest and will look to beat their arch-rivals in front of their fans.

Meanwhile, FC Porto are in an impressive run of form as well, and they are currently second in the league table with 16 points from six matches. The visitors have picked up five wins and a draw from their last six league matches and they will look to pull off an upset away from home.

They have an impressive head-to-head record against Benfica. So, the home side will have to be at their best in order to grind out all three points. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

SL Benfica

The home side do not have any major injury issues heading into this contest. Angel Di Maria missed out on the last game for Benfica through an injury but the Argentine attacker is expected to return against FC Porto.

Benfica are likely to shape up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Anatoliy Trubin in goal. Alexander Bah and Fredrik Aursnes will be deployed as the full-backs and they will look to help out offensively and protect the central defenders as well.

Nicolas Otamendi will start alongside the talented young Antonio Silva at the heart of the defence. Joao Neves will start in the middle of the park alongside Orkun Kokcu and the two players will look to keep things compact in the middle of the park and control the proceedings.

Rafa is likely to be deployed as the central attacking midfielder with Joao Mario and Angel di Maria on either side of him. Di Maria and Mario will add creativity and flair from the wide areas. Petar Musa is set to lead the line for Benfica.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Trubin; Bah, Otamendi, Silva, Aursnes; Neves, Kokcu; Di Maria, Rafa, Mario; Musa

FC Porto

The visitors will be without the services of Gabriel Veron, Ivan Marcano, and Zaidu Sanusi. They are likely to shape up in a 4-4-2 formation, with Diogo Costa in goal.

Joao Mario and Wendell are likely to be deployed as the full-backs and they will look to protect the central defenders and create counter-attacking opportunities. Pepe will start at the heart of the defence alongside David Carmo.

Stephen Eustaquio and Alan Varela will start in the middle of the park and the two players will look to keep the side defensively compact and win the ball back for their team. Andre Franco and Galeno will be deployed as the wingers here. They will look to protect the full-backs and help out in the attack. In the attack, Ivan Jaime will start alongside Mehdi Taremi.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Costa; Mario, Pepe, Carmo, Wendell; Galeno, Varela, Eustaquio, Franco; Taremi, Jaime

Key Stats

  • FC Porto have won 14 of their last 15 matches in Liga Portugal.
  • Benfica have scored at least two goals in their last nine matches in Liga Portugal.
  • Benfica have won their last five matches in Liga Portugal.
  • FC Porto have won four of their last six matches against Benfica.

Player to Watch

Angel Di Maria

Embed from Getty Images

The 35-year-old has been in fantastic form for Benfica, and he will look to make his mark in O Classico. The Argentine international has four goals and an assist in five league matches for Benfica, and he will look to help create goalscoring opportunities for his teammates and get on the scoresheet himself as well.

Di Maria has contributed with a goal or an assist in six of his last nine appearances for club and country. Benfica will need the 35-year-old in top form in order to break down the FC Porto defence and grind out all three points.

Prediction

SL Benfica 2-2 FC Porto

Both teams are in impressive form right now, and they will look to pick up all three points here. This is likely to be a thrilling contest between the two teams and an open game is on the cards at Estadio da Luz.

Neither side are defensive in their approach, and they will look to score goals. A high-scoring game seems likely but the two teams are likely to cancel each other out in the end. A 2-2 draw between Benfica and Porto could be on the cards here.

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