Eliminated with a round in advance, Benfica will fulfill this Friday, December 29, their participation in the group stage of the Portuguese League Cup in its edition 2017/2018. From 1915 (Brasília time), he faces Vitória de Setúbal at the Bonfim stadium in Setúbal.
The match is part of the schedule of the third round of group A. With six points accumulated, Setúbal has secured its classification for the semifinals. Benfica are the two-point vice-leader. Tied with a point, Braga and Portimonense divide the third place and will face each other at the same time.
The recent performance of the Vitória de Setúbal
In the opening day of the group stage of the League Cup, Vitoria, as a visitor, defeated Portimonense by 2 to 1. The classification was assured, at home, with victory by the same score against Braga.
This calm situation should cause coach Jose Couceiro to use the match this Friday as a testing platform aimed at the Portuguese Championship, where the team does not go very well of the legs. Lost the last six games.
With ten points (two wins, four draws and nine losses), he occupies the eighteenth (last) place. The situation, though bad, is not hopeless. With two rounds remaining for the first round, the difference for the Moreirense, sixteenth and first out of the sticking region, is only one point.
Thus, the match against Benfica, which has characteristics of friendly, can be used in preparation for the duel against Estoril in Setúbal, which is scheduled for January 4.
The current form of Benfica
Benfica also does not meet the expectations of its fans. The tie with Portimonense, 2-2 on December 20, marked the second elimination in cups in a period of less than ten days. Before that, on December 13, the team had been out of contention for the Portuguese Cup when it was beaten, in overtime, by Rio Ave, 1-0, after a 2-2 draw in regular time.
It was not, however, the lowest point of the season. In the European Champions League, Benfica not only were eliminated in the group stage but also completed their participation without having managed to make a point in six matches. It was the worst of the 32 clubs that played at this stage of the tournament. Scored only one goal and suffered 14.
This certainly increases the pressure on coach Rui Vitória and his athletes for the Portuguese Championship dispute. Four times national champion, Benfica tries to maintain the hegemony, but occupies only the third place. With 36 points (11 wins, three draws and a loss), he is three points behind Porto and Sporting, who are in contention for the lead.
This should also cause the coach to put on a mixed team or even reserve while preserving their top athletes for the duel against Sporting, at Luz stadium, on January 3.
History of the bouts between Vitória de Setúbal and Benfica
The teams met twice last November, both in Lisbon. The owners of the house got the better of both games. In the first, by the Portuguese Cup, by 2 to 0. In the second, by the Portuguese Championship, Benfica applied a thrashing of 6 to 0.
The game is of no interest to teams or players. It is a mere table-top fulfillment on a date that both athletes and coaching staff would certainly prefer to be resting after the Christmas festivities.
This indicates that the pace of the dispute must be below normal. As provision is what counts most for Victory, this indicates the guess in Benfica as more appropriate. It has a price of 1.32 in Rivalo. Draw has a return of 4.80. Setubal team success yields 9.00 per 1.