Benfica are the only side that have kept a 100% record in the Portuguese top-flight after three rounds, scoring 10 goals in those fixtures. Rio Ave have not had the start they were hoping for and are winless in the league, having drawn all of their first three games of the season.
In this weekend showdown, Benfica will be hoping to keep their 100% record intact while the hosts will want to record their first win of the campaign and beating the league leaders at home would be the perfect way for them to do so.
Rio Ave vs Benfica Head-to-Head
Benfica are Rio Ave's second most encountered opponents in top-flight competitions. The Rioavistas have taken on the Portuguese giants 46 times since 1996 when these sides first met.
As one would expect, Benfica have been the dominant side in their meetings and have won 34 games against Rio Ave. The hosts have recorded four wins while eight games ended in a draw.
Rio Ave have lost nine of their last 10 league games against The Eagles but did record a win in the Taça de Portugal in 2017.
Benfica form guide: W-W-W-L
Rio Ave form guide: D-L-D-W-D
Rio Ave vs Benfica Team News
Rio Ave will be unable to call upon defender Junio as he continues to recover from a serious leg injury. The hosts have managed to sign former Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao, thus bringing him back from retirement on a one-year deal. The two-time Champions League winner is in contention to start the game.
Injured: Junio (leg)
Benfica have a couple of injury concerns that have been present since the beginning of the campaign. Belgian goalkeeper Mile Svilar and Greece international midfielder Andreas Samaris are both out due to injuries. Defender Jardel has fully recovered and resumed training without limitations after missing the game against Farense while fellow centre-half Jan Vertonghen is ruled out due to a fracture in a facial bone.
The fitness of midfielder Adel Taarabt is a concern and coach Jorge Jesus might take a late call on the inclusion of the Moroccan international.
Injuries: Mike Svilar (undisclosed), Andreas Samaris (tendon), Jan Vertonghen (fracture)
Doubtful: Adel Taarabt (undisclosed)
Rio Ave vs Benfica Predicted XI
Rio Ave predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Pawel Kieszek; Ivo Pinto, Toni Borevkovic, Aderllan Santos, Nélson Monte; Tarantini, Nikola Jambor; Francisco Geraldes, Gelson, Carlos Mane; André Pereira
Benfica predicted XI (4-4-2): Odysseas Vlachodimos; Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Nicolás Otamendi, Andre Almeida; Everton, Gabriel Pires, Pizzi, Rafa Silva; Luca Waldschmidt, Haris Seferović
Rio Ave vs Benfica Prediction
Benfica are the most in-form team in the Portuguese top-flight at the moment. They have scored the most goals and have the best goal difference as well.
The Lisbon-based club could prove too much to handle for the hosts, who have conceded only two goals this term but at the same time have scored only two goals. Benfica is likely to emerge as the winner of this Portuguese Liga battle.
Prediction: Rio Ave 0-2 BenficaPublished 16 Oct 2020, 21:44 IST