Arouca vs. Benfica – Preview, Prediction, Team news, Lineups

Benfica is set to kick off their 2023-24 Taca da Liga campaign in a face-off against Arouca at the Estadio Municipal de Arouca.

Match Preview

Arouca, determined to overcome their historical challenges against Benfica, has lost their last eight meetings since August 2015.

Arouca’s hopes were dashed when they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Moreirense in the Primeira Liga.

Despite dominating most of the game, Arouca’s inability to score cost them dearly as Marcelo’s first-half goal secured a victory for Moreirense.

Before that, Arouca secured a spot in the fourth round of the Taca de Portugal on October 21, defeating Felgueiras 3-1 with goals from Alfonso Trezza, Kouassi Eboue, and Rafa Mujica.

Unfortunately, Arouca has lost five consecutive league games and has not won in their last eight matches since their 4-3 victory over Estoril Praia on August 13.

Currently sitting 15th in the Primeira Liga table with six points from nine matches, Daniel Ramos’s team now turns its attention to the Taca da Liga, where they opened with a 2-1 victory over AVS in the Group B on September 26.

Arouca faces the daunting task of ending their losing streak when they go up against Benfica, who have won all of their last eight encounters against Arouca since August 2015.

On the other hand, Benfica was denied an eighth consecutive Primeira Liga win when they played to a 1-1 draw with Casa Pia at the Estadio da Luz.

Joao Mario scored his first league goal of the season for Benfica, but Gaizka Larrazabal equalized in the second half.

Benfica also suffered a 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad in the Champions League on October 24, leaving them at the bottom of Group D with three losses in their first three matches.

Benfica’s drop in form has been particularly notable in their home games, where they failed to win three of their last four matches.

However, they won their previous six games before this dip in performance.

Roger Schmidt’s team is currently tied with Sporting Lisbon at the top of the Primeira Liga table with 22 points.

They head into the Taca da Liga opener with five wins in their last six away games, with a 1-0 Champions League defeat against Inter Milan on October 3 being the exception.

Team News

Arouca will be without American striker Benji Michel, who has been sidelined since picking up an ACL injury in May’s 1-0 defeat against Porto.

Coach Daniel Ramos is expected to field a similar starting lineup to their recent matches.

For Benfica, World Cup winner Angel Di Maria has missed the last four matches due to a muscle problem.

Joao Mario, who scored against Casa Pia, is expected to retain his role in Benfica’s front three, alongside David Neres and Arthur Cabral.

Predicted Lineups

Arouca

  • Arruabarrena;
  • Esgaio, Fernandes, Montero, Weverson;
  • Kouassi, Gonzalez;
  • Sylla, Simao, Trezza;
  • Mujica

Benfica

  • Trubin;
  • Aursnes, Silva, Otamendi, Bernat;
  • Luis, Neves, Silva;
  • Mario, Neres, Cabral

Prediction

Given the historical dominance of Benfica over Arouca and their contrasting recent form, we predict a 2-0 victory for Benfica in this Taca da Liga clash at the Estadio Municipal de Arouca.

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