There are six match days left for clubs in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and it should be exciting final weeks in Portugal. Like 99% of the other football leagues in Europe, the top-flight league in Portugal went into lockdown mode in March. The only one that ploughed through the pandemic was in Belarus. The Belarusian Premier League chugged along while everyone else stopped.
And like the other leagues in Europe that stopped playing, the restart is testing clubs in the Primeira Liga in Portugal. No one has experienced something like this before, so the teams that kept their composure and focus during the break are getting the most out of their effort now. Everyone was on the same page, though, with the same rules implemented for every club.
Porto currently lead the Primeira Liga with a record of 21-4-3 and 67 points. Much like the Serie A and La Liga, the Primeria Liga is a two-club race without too much room for others to get involved in the title race. In Portugal, there’s Porto and Benfica then everyone else. Benfica have a 3-point disadvantage behind Porto, while the next closest club to Benfica is Sporting with 52 points.
In other words, it’s impossible for any club to play catch up at the top of the table. It comes down to Porto and Benfica. Benfica have played well since coming back, but opportunities to close the gap with Porto have escaped them. They’re within reach, but a draw against Tondelda and Portimonense were wasted chances for 3 points.
Benfica were able to respond with 3 points against Rio, but fell right back in the opposite direction against Santa Clara. Benfica conceded a late goal at the 90+5 mark to lose with seconds remaining in the match. Clear the ball and Benfica would have recorded a draw in that one. Santa Clara scored on a penalty at the 82 minute mark, so it was a complete collapse for Benfica.
All they’ve had to do is play their game since returning to action and Benfica likely have the lead in the Primeira Liga at the moment. They have another winnable match in front of them on Monday versus Maritimo. Will they take this opportunity? It’s a must if they want to keep up with Porto. Head below for our free Maritimo vs. Benfica pick for June 29, 2020 in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
Maritimo vs. Benfica Portuguese Primeira Liga Betting Odds:
Maritimo vs. Benfica Prediction:
Benfica will have to get their defence in proper form for Monday if they want to avoid a draw or a possible upset on the road. They’ve conceded 6 goals in their previous three matches. That will have to change in a hurry. And then Benfica had a chance to clear the ball and get a draw on Tuesday, their defence broke down and Santa Clara scored with seconds remaining in stoppage time. They have to be more careful than that.
This is a club that was playing terrific defensively, though since the layoff, it seems like Benfica forgot how to defend their own net. The good news for Benfica is that their offence continues to play well. They’ve scored at least 2 goals in their past three matches for an average of 2.33 goals netted per match. That’s consistent with Benfica’s overall numbers for the 2019-20 season.
It’s likely that Benfica scores 2 of 3 goals in this match against Maritimo on Monday. The Maritimo defence hasn’t been in top form since returning to action as well. Maritimo have conceded 4 goals in their previous two matches in a 3-2 loss to Portimonense and 2-1 win against Gil Vicente. The 6-10-12 club are trying to fend off relegation down the stretch.
There is something to play for on Monday. They have just 28 points going into today. Effort should be present at home in this one. Considering how lazy and careless the Benfica defence has been playing, I give them a small shot at the upset. The most likely scenario is a 2-1 final for Benfica, though. With that in mind, the OVER is worth a look in this Portuguese Primeira Liga match on Monday.