Next Sunday, January 19, 2014 (9:00 AM Pacific, 17:00 GMT), SL Benfica will entertain the islanders, CS Maritimo, at Estádio da Luz in round 16 of the Liga Zon Sagres. The Eagles are highly motivated for their next clash after the extra moralizing win over their all-time rivals, FC Porto, last Sunday, and they would surely want to carry on with their excellent home form against the Green and Reds. On the other hand, CS Maritimo comes from a very positive run of results on their last six matches, where they grabbed two wins and four draws, and they will probably want to cause a major upset to SL Benfica next weekend.
Despite the great result against FC Porto last weekend and the midweek victory over second tier Leixões SC in the Portuguese Super Cup, SL Benfica might be slightly vulnerable after the departure of Nemanja Matic, one of their most important players, that rejoined Chelsea after an almost three year stint with the Portuguese football. The team’s head coach, Jorge Jesus, had publicly claimed that Matic was irreplaceable and that no other player in his team was capable of doing the Serbian’s defensive midfielder job. The Portuguese manager’s statements had reportedly caused some uproar in the team’s locker room and that fact might create some instability in the team for next Sunday’s match.
Jorge Jesus would still probably not be able to count on the Paraguayan sharpshooter Oscar Cardozo, since he appears not to be yet fully recovered from a complicated knee injury that affected him recently.
As for CS Maritimo, next Sunday’s match would certainly be a very complicated one that might well put an end on their undefeated six match row. Pedro Martins’ boys were the only team to defeat SL Benfica so far this season. The islanders grabbed a 2-1 victory over the Eagles on the first match of the season at Estádio dos Barreiros and that fact might create some extra anxiety on their opponents for next weekend’s fixture.
For their visit to Estádio da Luz, Pedro Martins would probably not be able to count on several important players such as Márcio Rozário, João Luiz, Rodrigo Lindoso and Sami, all of them still struggling with some minor injuries that have recently affected them.
Benfica vs Maritimo Prediction
SL Benfica will have tradition on their side for next Sunday’s match, since CS Maritimo’s only win at Estádio da Luz was in 1987 with a goal from the Brazilian forward Paulo Ricardo. That being said, the most likely outcome is 2-0 for SL Benfica.
Benfica vs Maritimo Television
The match will be televised on Benfica TV 1 (USA), this channel is available to Dish Network users.
Benfica vs Maritimo Highlights
Match highlights will be uploaded in this section.