• Tondela are winless in five league games, failing to score in three of them
  • Benfica have won eight of the previous nine meetings, keeping clean sheets on five occasions
  • Seven of Benfica’s nine home wins have been recorded to nil

Benfica should make winning return

A run of just one win from five outings prior to the pandemic saw Benfica relinquish top spot in the Primeira Liga, but The Eagles should have few concerns making a winning return at home to a wildly inconsistent Tondela.

Benfica were setting the early pace in their title defence having won 16 consecutive league matches between September and February. However, a 3-2 defeat against Porto kickstarted a poor sequence of results which included draws against Moreirense and Vitoria Setubal.

But Benfica should be refreshed by the break and it’s difficult to see Tondela containing the likes of Carlos Vinicius and Pizzi, who are first and second in the Primeira Liga scoring charts with 29 goals between them – that’s nine more than the visitors have managed from their 24 games. The Eagles have conceded just seven times in winning nine of their 12 league games this term and have kept clean sheets in seven of those victories.

Toiling Tondela set for more road woe

Motivation levels appear to be on the decline at Tondela, who have won only one of their 11 league games but find themselves in a comfortable enough position with a nine-point buffer over the relegation places.

Tondela have lost four of their last five away games, failing to score in three – one of which was a 3-0 hiding at Porto. The goals have particularly dried up for Tondela since the turn of the year. Natxo Gonzalez’s men have scored just five times from 11 league outings in 2020, one of which came from the penalty spot.

No Tondela player has managed more than two league goals this season and that doesn’t bode well at Benfica, who boast the best defence in the division with just 14 goals conceded.

Home clean sheet looks likely

A clean sheet should be comfortable for Benfica, who have won eight of their previous nine meetings with Tondela – keeping clean sheets on five of those occasions – but there is pressure on the hosts as they can’t afford to drop any points while they trail arch-rivals Porto in the Primeira Liga table.

Benfica have recorded 14 of their 19 league wins this term to nil, including keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win at Tondela earlier in the season. They have won 2-0 on five occasions and may settle for a similar scoreline here. Tondela carry little in terms of attacking threat, but they have conceded more than twice in only one of their 12 road trips and that came in a 3-0 defeat at Porto.

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