Our prediction for this Portugal Primeira Liga match:
Estadio de Luz will host Saturday’s Primeira Liga clash between Benfica and Rio Ave. The league leaders are the only undefeated club in the new domestic campaign and they surely want the trend to be continued. The Eagles dropped two points in a goalless draw with Vitoria Guimaraes, with Os Vimaranenses putting an end to their 100% record in the new season, meaning that they are eager to return to winning ways this weekend. Rafa Silva will pose a big threat to the opposition back-line, as he scored three goals in his last five starts for the club. All Lucas Verissimo, João Victor and Felipe Morato are out of contention through injuries.
Rio Ave, on the other hand, will be aiming to build on hard-fought 1-0 win over Santa Clara, but the bookmakers from all around the globe see them as the major underdogs in this fixture. Roger Schmidt’s men have won nine of the last ten encounters with Rio Ave, and, taking everything into account, anything but a comfortable win for the home side will be a big surprise. There are no fresh injury worries for the visiting side, while Guga is pushing for a start since he is back in squad after serving a one-match ban against Santa Clara.
Highlighted Player (Julian Draxler):
Julian Draxler is arguably one of the most impressive footballers to have come out of Schalke’s youth academy in recent years and he spent ten years in the academy before he was promoted to the senior side in January 2011. The attacking midfielder soon started showcasing his skills at the biggest stage and just a year later received his first Germany call-up.
Draxler scored 18 goals in 119 league appearances for Schalke before moving to Wolfsburg in a high-profile deal in the closing stages of the 2015 summer transfer window. Despite his fragile age, the talented footballer has already made over 15 outings for the Germany national team, making one substitute appearance as Die Mannschaft went on to claim the 2014 World Cup trophy.
An exciting player capable of playing on either wing or through the middle, Draxler boasts a good goalscoring record and also regularly creates chances for his teammates, although he has yet to fully realise his potential.
Highlighted Team (Rio Ave):
Nicknamed Rio Grande, Rio Ave are a Portuguese club that compete in Primeira Liga. Rio Ave were founded back in 1939 and they welcome their rivals at Estadio dos Arcos, the stadium which can hold up to 12,815 people.
The team’s home shirt is green with white stripes, whilst the colour of their shorts is green. Rio Ave wear white shirts and white shorts when playing on the travels. The club’s biggest success came in the 2014/2015 season when they represented Portugal in the Europa League group stages. Rio Ave finished the process in the last position in Group J, but they did well to record their first ever win in the competition, with the team beating Danish club Aalborg 2-0 at their Estadio do Rio Ave Futebol Clube.
Former Real Madrid full-back Fabio Coentrao is considered one of the club’s most notable footballers. Manchester City first-choice goalkeeper Ederson played for Rio Ave in the past as well.