Benfica will travel to the Estadio do Sao Miguel to take on Santa Clara in their first Portuguese top-flight game of the new year.
The hosts ended 2020 on a sour note, falling to a 1-0 defeat away to Moreirense. Meanwhile, Benfica were 2-1 victors at home to Portimonense.
That victory saw Benfica retain second position on the Primeira Liga table, with 27 points from 11 games.
Santa Clara are in mid-table, but their position is concerning as they sit just four points ahead of the relegation spots.
Santa Clara vs Benfica Head-to-Head
This will be the ninth direct meeting between the two sides, with Benfica boasting the vastly superior record.
The capital side have seven wins and one draw to their name, with 18 goals scored and eight conceded. For their part, Santa Clara have a solitary win in this fixture.
Incidentally, that victory came the last time these two sides met in June. In a seven-goal thriller, a 90th-minute strike by Ze Manuel helped Santa Clara pick up a shock 4-3 victory away from home.
Santa Clara vs Benfica Team News
The hosts have no injury or suspension concerns, although Brazilian left-back Mansur is in doubt with a muscle injury.
The visitors have several fitness issues ahead of their clash with Santa Clara.
No fewer than six players will be unavailable for Jorge Jesus. Hafis Seferovic, Joao Ferreira, Goncalo Ramos, Pizzi and Jardel are all sidelined after testing positive to COVID-19.
Midfielder Andre Almeida is also sidelined with a knee injury, while Gabriel Pires is in doubt with a muscle problem.
Furthermore, center-back Nicolas Otamendi will be unavailable for selection through suspension.
Injuries: Pizzi, Goncalo Ramos, Jardel, Hafis Seferovic, Joao Ferreira, Andre Almeida
Doubt: Gabriel Pires
Suspension: Nicolas Otamendi
Santa Clara vs Benfica Predicted XI
Santa Clara Predicted XI (3-5-2): Marco Pereira; Joao Afonso, Fabio Cardoso, Mikel Villanueva; Ukra, Costinha, Osama Rashid, Anderson Carvalho, Pierre Sagna; Sharriar Moghanlou, Carlos Alberto
Benfica Predicted XI (4-4-2): Odysseas Vlachodimos; Nuno Tavares, Jan Vertonghen, Jean-Clair Todibo, Gilberto; Everton, Julian Weigl, Adel Taarabt, Rafa Silva; Luca Waldschmidt, Darwin Nunez
Santa Clara vs Benfica Prediction
Despite the absence of several first-team players, Benfica still have enough quality within their ranks to get the job done away from home.
The Eagles had a year to forget in 2020, but they will be keen to get the new year off to a flying start with a comfortable victory.
Prediction: Santa Clara 0-3 Benfica
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