2019-20 Portuguese Primeira Liga – Rio Ave vs Benfica Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Rio Ave vs Benfica taking place? Wednesday 17th June, 2020 – 21:15 (UK)

Where is Rio Ave vs Benfica taking place? Estádio do Rio Ave Futebol Clube, Vila do Conde

Where can I get tickets for Rio Ave vs Benfica? Ticket information can be found on each club’s official website

What television channel is Rio Ave vs Benfica on? FreeSports have the rights to Portuguese Primeira Liga matches in the UK, so it is worth checking their schedule

Where can I stream Rio Ave vs Benfica? If televised, subscribers can stream the match live on Premier Player

Bet365 subscribers can stream Portuguese Primeira Liga matches so it is worth checking their schedule

THE TEAM NEWS

RIO AVE

  • Rio Ave got back to winning ways at Moreirense last time out as they edged a 1-0 win away from home and while it was not the most convincing of performances, it will reignite their hopes of challenging for a Europa League spot.
  • They welcome back Matheus Reis following suspension although the full-back may not necessarily come straight back into the side after they kept a clean sheet last time out but he is a regular starter so that may sway boss Carlos Carvalhal to bring him back against Benfica.
  • With a short turnaround in matches, Carvalhal may decide to make a few changes to keep the side fresh so Bruno Moreira, Lucas Piazon and Tarantini could all come into the side for this game.

BENFICA

  • Benfica are in poor form right now having drawn their last five matches in all competitions which has seen them drop back to second and the 2-2 draw at Portimonense was particularly deflating after holding a 0-2 lead.
  • Their crisis is compounded by three absences in defence here as Andre Almeida is banned while Jardel and Alex Grimaldo have both picked up injuries and are ruled out to leave their options decimated.
  • That means Ferro, Nuno Tavares and Tomas Tavares are likely to come in and that brings an extremely youthful look about the defence so changes further forward are unlikely to avoid unsettling the team even further.

THE PREDICTION

Benfica are in full-on crisis mode right now having been knocked off top spot and the mood in the camp is not great. They are not helped by a defensive crisis here as they will have to play without three first-choice defenders here so they are significantly weakened. Rio Ave are not in top form since the restart but this is not a fixture Benfica will be looking forward to. The hosts are difficult to beat at the best of times and with Benfica drawing their last five matches in all competitions, do not rule this one out being number six.

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