This Sunday, Benfica plays against Moreirense (8:15 p.m., Sport TV) in Minho a lot of what could be in the near future, especially in the mental chapter.
It is a team that is now seeing the national title “through a straw” and could increase Sporting’s eleven disadvantages if it stumbles again. In this scenario, the (still) confident rhetoric that the club exudes from the inside out falls, and for some, the rhetoric of responsibility for the Covid-19 outbreak that hit the squad in January may fall as well.
And there is no escape: A new defeat will be an enormous mental setback in a team that is trying to put its “head out” and that has to attack the difference between a period of minimized damage in the coming weeks Final of the Portuguese Cup and long course in the Europa League) or a season of total debacle (with eliminations against Estoril and Arsenal and confirmation of the lost championship).
On the other hand, in the event of a triumph against Moreirense – especially with a convincing performance – Benfica gets an increase in confidence, not least because this scenario can confirm what Jorge Jesus said: that this is a growing team and that Benfica is after Overcoming the internal problem with the new coronavirus can only grow from now on.
The “red” coach conveyed the same idea in the preview of the game against Moreirense in League I round 19 after saying for several days that “the Covid-19 has devastated Benfica”.
“We feel like we’re improving. We are a team with a different physical capacity and more competitive, with more intensity. I believe that we will have a Benfica within what they presented in the game with Estoril, with more speed in both offensive and defensive tasks, ”said Jesus, looking to the future with more confidence.
There are champions to be guaranteed
Despite the punctual delay for the league leaders, Benfica can guarantee at least one qualification for the Champions League. And this can be a tremendous journey with a lot to lose but also a lot to gain.
Sporting (front runner) and Paços de Ferreira (stalker in European fight) face each other this round – Benfica can win points for either or both of them – and Sp. Braga with three defeats in their last five home games. He will visit Santa Clara, the team he lost with in the first round, in Minho.
A day that can be a “red smile”, but to take advantage of all of this, Benfica must overtake a Moreirense in time. After winning the club’s first five games, Vasco Seabra (who has already defeated Boavista 3-0 Benfica in this league) switched to a three-center system and won the last two games.
Despite being a confident team and breathing well in the league (eighth place), there is data that predicts a one-way game. The Minho are the second team in the league with the fewest shots and the second with the most shots opponents allow, but Vasco Seabra refuses to hold those records as a subdued team.
“We have to wear the overalls, but we also want to wear the formal suit. We want to produce offensively, but be very intense defensively, ”emphasized the coach in a press conference.
For this match, Jorge Jesus will have the squad almost at full strength. The coach reminded in the preview of the game that he still hasn’t injured André Almeida and Jardel but that Luca Waldschmidt may already be an option. Despite the progress that Gilberto won’t play, the manager guaranteed that Diogo Gonçalves would be a good option after the good game against Estoril.