Benfica have had a tough start to the new season, but will that continue when they host Pacos de Ferreira this weekend? A 1-1 draw in the League Cup on Wednesday was another blow for the Portuguese champions, who are dealing with injuries and summer departures of some of their top stars.
Benfica have been struggling on all fronts this term, as they’ve dropped off the pace in the title pace. Their shock Champions League defeat has left them facing a huge task to qualify for the next round, while they could be about to surrender the league title to Porto after dominating Portuguese football of late. Having lost three of their back five which took them to glory last season, Benfica are now paying the price.
While their defending has been poor, they’ve also struggled for goals. Despite blowing teams away last term, Benfica just aren’t set up to do that any more. There were signs of this in their away form last season – which saw them fail to win a game by more than two goals. Now the Portuguese champions after faltering in front of goal overall, they’ve only hit more than two goals in one of their last five matches.
Pacos de Ferreira will be hoping to keep things tight here, as they’ve not made a great start either. The visitors have struggled on the road, and they’ll be looking to avoid a hammering here. The way Benfica have started, there’s certainly a chance for any team to take something if they just hang in the game early on.
Pacos don’t have the worst record at this ground, although they have failed to score in the last four visits. Just one of their last six encounters have seen over 3.5 goals. Having lost 4-0 on aggregate across their three meetings last season – including grabbing a 0-0 draw in their last clash, we see Pacos getting away without too big a defeat. We’re backing under 3.5 goals in this one at 8/13 with bet365, while we’re also going for a 1-0 win for the hosts at 7/1 with bet365.