When Sporting Lisbon humiliated Braga 5-0 last Monday, their hopes of winning the League Cup for the first time since the 2019–20 season were dashed.
Goncalo Inacio, Paulinho, Pedro Goncalves, Francisco Trincao, and Marcus Edwards all found the back of the net before halftime to give the hosts a convincing victory for Ruben Amorim’s team at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Before that, Braga had a five-game winning streak in all competitions, which included three straight victories in the Taca da Liga group stages, where they finished first with a five-point lead over second-place Casa Pia.
The team of Artur Jorge is now focusing on the Primeira Liga after coming from behind to defeat Portimonense 2-1 on November 13 in their final matchup before the World Cup break.
With the exception of a 1-0 home loss to Casa Pia on November 6, Os Arcebispos have currently won three of their last four league games, scoring five goals and recording two clean sheets.
Braga currently sits third in the Primeira Liga standings with 28 points, one point behind second-place Porto, after winning nine, drawing one, and losing three of their 13 games this season.
In contrast, Benfica was eliminated from the Taca da Liga in the group stage after coming in second place to Moreirense.
After their first two games, both teams were tied on six points. On December 17, they faced off in the group finale. The Moreirense held on for a 1-1 draw to advance because they had more goals than the seven-time cup winners.
Prior to that, As Aguias lost their first match of the year on December 11 when Sevilla defeated them 1-0 in a friendly match, snapping a 33-game streak of victories in all competitions.
In the Primeira Liga, where they have won all but one of their 13 games to sit atop the table with 37 points out of a possible 39, Schmidt will be hoping that his team can quickly snap out of their slump and pick up where they left off.
With 37 goals scored and seven goals allowed, respectively, Benfica currently has the best attacking and defensive records in the league, which has contributed to their outstanding first half of the season.
The defending champions of the Primeira Liga will be confident that this weekend’s match against Braga, a team they have won 15 of the previous 20 meetings with, will see them get back to winning ways!
1×2 Betting Odds
Benfica will be aiming to end the year with a victory in order to bounce back quickly from their shocking cup exit. We anticipate Braga to put up a fight, but the away side has the arsenal to finish the job, so we are backing them to get all three points in this match!
And the betting market is along the same lines!
Barga, despite playing at home are the underdogs in this with odds @ 4.90.
Benfica, who have enough quality and the motive of bouncing back, makes them the favourites @ 1.75.
The odds of a draw according to the betting market stands @ 4.20.
Total goals over/under
The odds that the total number of goals score will be over 2.5, stands @ 1.78.
While the odds that the total number of goals will be under 2.5, stands @ 2.16.
So the market expects around 3 goals in this one, with victory for the away side!