Benfica entertain 10th-placed Santa Clara at the Estadio da Luz in the Portuguese Primeira Liga on Saturday.
Benfica resumed their league campaign following the international break with a 3-1 win at Tondela on Monday. Santa Clara are unbeaten in league fixtures in 2022 and played out a 2-2 draw at Gill Vicente in their previous outing.
League leaders Porto have opened up a 12-point lead over the capital club, so to keep their title hopes alive the hosts need to win as many games as they can going forward.
Benfica vs Santa Clara Head-to-Head
This will be just the 15th meeting between the two sides since 1999. Benfica have dominated the proceedings against their western rivals, leading 11-1 in wins while two games have ended in draws.
They last met in league action at Estádio de São Miguel in September, with As Águias securing an emphatic 5-0 win in the reverse fixture.
Benfica form guide (all competitions): W-L-L-W-W
Santa Clara form guide (all competitions): D-W-L-W-D
Benfica vs Santa Clara Team News
Rodrigo Pinho and Lucas Veríssimo are long-term absentees with ligament injuries while Haris Seferovic will also miss the game on account of a muscle injury.
Injured: Rodrigo Pinho, Lucas Veríssimo, Haris Seferovic
Pierre Sagna has featured in just nine league games this season and is yet to play for them in 2022. The full-back is expected to miss the game with an undisclosed injury.
Costinha is also expected to miss the game on account of an Achilles tendon injury. Lincoln and Cryzan picked up red cards in the previous outing, a decision that head coach Mário Silva deemed too harsh. The duo will serve a one-match suspension here.
Injured: Pierre Sagna, Costinha
Suspended: Lincoln, Cryzan
Benfica vs Santa Clara Predicted XI
Benfica Predicted XI (4-4-2): Odysseas Vlachodimos; Valentino Lazaro, Jan Vertonghen, André Almeida, Alejandro Grimaldo; Everton, Julian Weigl, Joao Mario, Pizzi; Roman Yaremchuk, Darwin Núñez
Santa Clara Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Marco Pereira; Mansur, Kennedy Boateng, Mikel Villanueva, Cristian González; Nené, Anderson Carvalho; Ricardo António, Rúben Oliveira, Hidemasa Morita; Rui Costa
Benfica vs Santa Clara Prediction
Benfica have lost just once in their last seven games at home while Santa Clara have just one win in their travels this season. The visiting side have scored at least two goals in five of their last six games across all competitions, so they are expected to find the back of the net here.
Given Benfica's great record in the fixture and solid home form, a win for the capital club seems to be on the cards here.
Prediction: Benfica 2-1 Santa Clara
Interested in sports other than Football? Click here