Our prediction for this Portugal League Cup match:
Sporting Covilha and Benfica face each other at Estadio Municipal Jose dos Santos Pinto in the Taca da Liga Group B. Benfica kicked off their Taca da Liga campaign with a goalless draw with Vitoria Guimaraes, but it has to be noted that boss Bruno Lage used the game to rest first-team regulars. The Portuguese tactician is likely to stick to his rotation policy against Sporting Covilha, meaning that over 2.5 goals bet should not be considered.
The hosts played out a 1-1 draw with Vitoria Setubal in their opener, but the Segunda Liga side will have a much bigger fish to fry against the star-studded Eagles. Anyhow, since the visitors will be without several first-team regulars in Tuesday’s clash, we are tempted to put our money on draw. When the two teams met in Taca de Portugal in 2014, Benfica recorded a 3-2 win over Sporting Covilha.
Highlighted Player (Andreas Samaris):
Greece international midfielder Andreas Samaris began his career playing for Panachaiki before his spells with Panionios and Olympiakos. SL Benfica is the first international experience for the 27-year-old player who arrived in Portugal in 2014.
A full international since 2013, Samaris represented Greece at the 2014 FIFA World Cup during which he managed to make his presence known and earn a move abroad. Andreas Samaris operates as a central midfield but is capable of filling in defensive midfielder role. Greek international was the mainstay for Benfica during his first two seasons at the club managing 46 Primeira Liga appearances during the period. He also added 12 Champions League appearances.
Andreas Samaras helped Benfica win two Primeira Liga titles, two Taca da Liga trophies and one Super Cup. Greek international was the regular performer for his national team during the unsuccessful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with ten games to his name.
Highlighted Team (Benfica):
Member of the ‘Big Three’ clubs in Portugal alongside FC Porto and CP Sporting, Sport Lisboa e Benfica are the football club that has never been relegated from the Primeira Liga. The club is nicknamed Aguias because of the Eagle symbol atop the club’s crest. Benfica play their home games at the Estadio da Luz which replaced the original one in 2003 and which boasts the capacity of more than 64,000. Arguably the most successful club in Portugal, Benfica have won a record of 35 Primeira Liga titles and also a record 25 Taca de Liga and 7 Taca da Liga trophies.
Two-time European Cup winners, Benfica are the club known for their diligent work with youth players, many of which went on to make great careers abroad. The most prominent players to wear a Benfica shirt are legendary Eusebio, Manuel Bento, Jorge Tavares and most recently Javier Saviola, Nuno Gomes, David Luiz and Angel Di Maria.