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On a quiet Thursday, you can hardly find any major soccer leagues playing their matches, however, from time to time you just might find a gem out of all the matches, that at first sight seem to offer nothing interesting. Taking place on Thursday, at Estadio da Luz, we will have a chance to see a match between Benfica and Arouca in the 1/16 of Portugal Cup.
The home side, Benfica are not showing anything promising this year. After a bad start in their home league (6-2-2 record) where they are currently at 4th spot, and even worse results in the Champions League, where they only won 1 match out of 4 played, they need to start putting up some good results and they are well aware of that. They are coming into this match after a 1:3 win over Tondela. That win was much needed, as it broke their 2 game losing streak; Belenenses (2:0); Moreirense (1:3). Only 4 days prior, Benfica drew with Ajax, which is not a good result on its own but it was a nice change of pace from 3 consecutive defeats in the Champions League and domestic league.
The away side, Arouca is coming from Segunda Liga, where they sit at the 13th place, with an overall record of 3-1-5. They are considered a huge underdog in this match, and no one should be surprised. At the end of the day, they are coming from Portugal 2nd league and will be playing against one of the best teams in Portugal. Their chances of winning this match are as slim as they can get. Even in their last matches, Arouca did not perform exceptionally well, so it’s safe to say they are not in an exceptional form that could threaten Benfica.
Benfica needs a win. After poor performances this season in the league and underwhelming performances in the Champions League they owe it to themselves and their fans. We expect them to put up their best players, who are more than capable of defeating Arouca. But I do not expect them to only defeat their opponents, but to leave a statement. Benfica needs a big win to restore the confidence of their players and to satisfy the expectations of their fans. I can easily see Benfica winning this one with more than 2 goals.
Prediction: Benfica -2.00 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.02 Asianodds