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Benfica - Belenenses SAD: Learning From The Past

After a hard fought victory in Poznan on Thursday, Benfica will now turn their attention to the league. On Monday, the encarnados will host Belenenses SAD, in a match that will present a similar task as the one we saw against Farense just a few weeks ago.


Petit's squad have managed five points from four matches, with two consecutive goalless draws. With only two goals scored this season, the visitors will surely have to be organized off the ball in order to at least make things difficult for Benfica in their final third.


Playing with three central defenders, Belenenses SAD tend to defend with a line of five, and they generally tend to get a lot of bodies behind the ball. Offensively, their formation transitions into a 3-4-3, which if the hosts aren't cautious, they could find themselves exposed as we saw in Poznan.


In the home match against Farense, we expected a slighter less difficult match given the scoring issues the Algarvios had also encountered up until that point. The reality was very different from the expectations, as Farense took the pitch looking to play an attacking brand of football, and not being content with sitting deep and only defending.


That game plan could be something Petit could look to explore on Monday.


In Poland, Benfica's defensive line showed signs of being vulnerable. Without pressure on the ball, they failed to drop off, allowing Lech Poznan to find gaps in behind to expose.

Without the ball, Otamendi and Vertonghen took up more advanced positions, and given their lack of pace, caused them to be chasing most of the time. Surely Petit will have taken note of that as he prepared for this match.


One detail that is sure to cause some headaches for Belenenses SAD is the fact that Darwin finally got off the mark with a hattrick.


The Uruguayan striker can now finally play without the pressure of not scoring hanging over his head, something that was also creating some issues in the attacking zone. It was clear that the squad was constantly looking to find him that goal, which will have impacted some of their decision making in vital areas.


Now that he's finally got that monkey off his back, hopefully he'll now be full of confidence to continue his positive start to a new chapter in his young career.


From their last six meetings at the Estádio da Luz, Benfica has scored at least two goals. This time, we should expect to see a more mobile side going forward than what we witnessed against Farense, and with a bit more defensive discipline than what we saw in Poland.


Coming off a four goal match on Thursday, could we be in for another high scoring affair?


Watch the latest episode of the O Cantinho Benfiquista podcast, where we discuss the match in Poznan, the upcoming match against Belenenses, and some questions from our listeners. Be sure to like, share and SUBSCRIBE!



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