Primeira Liga Preview
The Portuguese Primeira Liga returns, following a hiatus of over two months. March 8th was the date of the last top-flight game in Portugal to be played and with only 10 game weeks remaining, it promises to be an enthralling finale.
Only one point separates current leaders FC Porto and defending champions Benfica at the top of the table and it promises to be a race that will go down to the wire.
Elsewhere, Sporting Lisbon, Braga and Rio Ave are locked in a Europa League battle whilst only 4 points separate Maritimo, Pacos Ferreira, Tondela and Belenenses in their relegation scrap.
With so much still to play for and excitement across Portugal at fever pitch, the conclusion of the Primeira Liga should make fascinating viewing over the next few weeks.
With only 10 games to play and a 13-point gap to the chasing pack, it looks to be between Benfica and FC Porto for the title this season:
Following their home win over Benfica in February, Porto have put themselves in pole position to win the league title for only the second time since the 2012-13 season. With Sérgio Conceição at the helm, they play attractive football and have forged a one-point lead at the top of the table. They will need to hit the ground running though, having been eliminated from the Europa League to Bayer Leverkusen and dropping points against Rio Ave in their final game before the league’s postponement.
Since their defeat to Porto in all competitions, Benfica have imploded somewhat – only winning one of their subsequent six games and crashing out of the Europa League in the process. Draws against Moreirense and Vitoria FC have left the Champions now needing to play catch up. The gap to Porto is just a point and Bruno Lage’s men will be keen to start closing the gap quickly, with only 10 games left to make up the deficit.
Game Week 25 – Selected Match Previews
How teams will react to playing in front of empty stadiums and having had over 2 months off, should add to the subplot surrounding the fixtures in game week 25:
FC Famalicao vs FC Porto
FC Famalicao have performed above expectations in the Primeira Liga this season and currently reside in 7th but FC Porto should have too much quality for them in key areas here.
Score Prediction – FC Famalicao 1 – 3 FC Porto @ 11.56
Betxchange Best Bet – Over 2.5 goals in the game – 0.72
Benfica vs Tondela
Whilst Tondela are sure to be fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, Benfica are playing catch up in the race for the title and they should get back to winning ways comfortably here.
Score Prediction – Benfica 3 – 0 Tondela @ 5.56
Betxchange Best Bet – Benfica to keep a clean sheet – 0.46
Vitoria SC vs Sporting Lisbon
With both teams eager to finish inside the top 4 come the end of the season and only 5 points and 2 places separating them in the table, this could be a very cagy encounter.
Score Prediction – Vitoria SC 1 – 1 Sporting Lisbon @ 5.39
Betxchange Best Bet – The match to finish as a draw – 2.30