Benfica look value to edge what could be a tight encounter on Monday night.
Benfica v Sporting Braga - Monday 20:00, BT Sport 1
Benfica won their third consecutive Primeira Liga last term and though they lost a couple of key players in the transfer window in Renato Sanches and Nico Gaitan, they’ve started this season well enough with three wins from four unbeaten games. Braga also have 10 points from their four games after they won the battle without the ‘Big Three’ for the second time in a row last term.
Benfica drew their only home game so far this season against Vitoria but their record at the Estádio da Luz is W30-D3-L2 since 2014/15 as they kept 20 clean sheets in these games and scored an average of 2.9 goals, with 17 of their wins by more than two goals. They’ve won all 10 of these games that were against sides between 4th and 8th, keeping six clean sheets while all their wins were by more than one goal and half were by more than two. However, there are reasons to think this might be a narrower win, particularly given the players they’ve lost.
Braga have won both their opening road games but their away record was just W5-D6-L6 last term in games that were generally very low scoring as they only managed 13 goals but were strong defensively and as a result 11 saw fewer than two goals. Indeed, Benfica have won five of their six meetings with Braga since 2013/14 with four of these wins either 1-0 or 2-0 and since the champions have a number of key attacking players missing at the moment, including Jonas and Jiminez, whilst Mitroglou is also a doubt, we’re going to back the home win and Under 2.5 Goals in what should be a tight encounter.