Benfica will continue their hunt for an automatic Champions League spot when they travel to Estadio Joao Cardoso to face Tondela on Friday.
Sitting ninth in the Primeira Liga, the hosts have been impressive in the Portuguese top-flight and will be aiming to finish out the campaign strongly.
Tondela made it three games unbeaten on Monday when they fought back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw against Famalicao.
This fine run of results has seen Pako Ayestaran's men move into ninth place in the standings, one point ahead of Belenenses.
With just three points separating them and sixth-placed Vitoria Guimaraes, CDT Auriverdes will look to strengthen their position on the log as the season comes to a close.
In an end-to-end affair at Estadio Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Jorge Jesus' men claimed a hard-earned 2-1 win over seventh-placed Santa Clara.
Carlos Junior’s 25th-minute own goal put the hosts in front, but Santa Clara drew level shortly after the hour mark thanks to a brilliant strike from Anderson Carvalho. However, 25-year-old forward Chiquinho scored the decisive goal nine minutes later to hand the Eagles their 19th win of the season.
Benfica have now cut the gap with second-place Porto to just four points, and also moved five points clear of Sporting Braga in fifth.
A win for Benfica would serve as a huge boost ahead of next week’s crunch tie with Porto, which could determine their chances of a top-two finish.
Tondela vs Benfica Head-To-Head
Benfica have a clear upper hand in this fixture, picking up nine wins from their last 11 meetings with Tondela. The hosts have managed just one win, while the spoils have been shared only once.
Benfica are currently unbeaten in their last five games against Tondela. Their most recent encounter ended in a 2-0 win for the Eagles back in January’s reverse fixture.
Tondela Form Guide: W-L-W-W-D
Benfica Form Guide: W-W-L-W-W
Tondela vs Benfica Team News
Venezuela-born midfielder Jhon Murillo is a doubt for this tie after he was hauled off with an injury against Famalicao.
Without any late fitness issues, head coach Pako Ayestaran will likely stick with the same starting XI after their strong display last time out.
Doubtful: Jhon Murillo
Veteran defender Andre Almeida remains on the sidelines after rupturing his cruciate ligament in the 3-0 win over Rio Ave back in October 2020.
Andreas Samaris has also been out of action since January through injury and is guaranteed to miss this tie.
Former Tottenham midfielder Adel Taarabt is a doubt after he missed last week’s win over Santa Clara due to a slight muscle injury.
Injured: Andre Almeida, Andreas Samaris
Doubtful: Adel Taarabt
Tondela vs Benfica Predicted XI
Tondela Predicted XI (4-4-3): Babacar Niasse; Ricardo Alves, Enzo Suarez, Yohan Tavares, Tiago Almeida; Pedro Augusto, Jaume Grau, Joao Pedro; Rafael Barbosa, Mario Gonzalez, Salvador Agra
Benfica Predicted XI (3-5-2): Helton Leite; Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi, Lucas Verissimo; Alex Grimaldo, Rafa Silva, Julian Weigl, Pizzi, Diogo Goncalves; Haris Seferovic, Gian-Luca Waldschmidt
Tondela vs Benfica Prediction
Despite floundering in their title chase, Benfica have enjoyed an impressive campaign.
Tondela have also had a decent season, but looking at the gulf in quality in both teams, we back the visitors to grab all three points unscathed.
Prediction: Tondela 0-2 Benfica