Benfica's Spanish midfielder Javi Garcia (2-L) heads the ball during their Luis Figo Foundation charity football match against Hunger at Luz Stadium in Lisbon, July 18, 2012. (credit: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/GettyImages)
Last season’s 2nd and 3rd place finishers in Portugal kick off the season against one another as Benfica host Sporting Braga.
Watch & bet on Benfica v Sporting Braga live at bet365 > live streaming > football at 2015 BST on Saturday, August 18.
Benfica kick off the new season looking to improve upon the runners-up spot that they have occupied at the end of each of the last two seasons, whilst also dethroning Porto as the country’s dominant force in the process. Home form hasn’t been a problem for Jorge Jesus’s side recently with the Benfiquistas winning 14 of their 15 league games at the Estadio du Luz last season. Bet365 offer odds of 8/11 on another home win for Benfica, while Braga are 15/4 and the draw is 13/5.
Benfica were 2-1 winners in this fixture towards the back end of last season as Bruno Cesar scored a 90th minute winner to erase Elderson Echiejile’s late equaliser. A repeat scoreline can be backed at odds of 7/1 with Bet365.
Oscar Cardozo was Benfica’s main marksman last season as he top scored in the Portuguese Primeira Liga with 20 goals. Despite intense interest from a host of top European clubs they have so far managed to hang on to the Paraguayan forward, his goals could prove pivotal to their chances of winning the league at odds of 7/4.
Benfica scored more home goals than any team in the league last season (44), while only Porto scored more away goals than Sporting Braga (26). Goals should, therefore, be on the agenda here and it is 4/5 that there are more than 2.5 in the game.
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