The first round of the Allianz Portuguese League Cup involving 16 second and 12 top division clubs – ‘B’ teams do not take part, last year’s fifth and sixth-placed Liga Bwin sides Arouca and Vitória de Guimarães join in the second round while the top four are integrated into the subsequent group phase – will open the 2023/24 season over the last two weekends of this month.
Both Algarve clubs feature prominently as they are involved in the only two all top tier clashes, with Farense travelling to Moreirense on Sunday, July 23 for a 3.30pm kick-off, whilst Portimonense play at home against Estrela da Amadora the same evening at 8.30pm.
League action proper begins from August 13 with Portimonense drawn away to Gil Vicente and Farense welcoming Casa Pia to their São Luís Stadium. The season’s two Algarve derbies are scheduled to take place in January and on the last match day in May.
Meanwhile, Portimonense have added another two players to their squad, namely Brazilian ex-Cruzeiro defender Igor Formiga and experienced back-up goalkeeper Vinicius Silvestre from Palmeiras. In doubt is still the return from international duty of South Korean defender Park Ji-soo, but there is still a chance that former ‘hero’ Shoya Nakajima might come ‘home’ after dissolving his contract with Turkey’s Antalyaspor.
Farense have also made further signings in the shape of 21-year-old Betis Seville right back Fran Delgado, 24-year-old Brazilian left back Talys Oliveira and central defender Artur Jorge who is returning from the United Arab Emirates.
In other news, Farense will play Ronaldo club Al Nassr at the Stadium of the Algarve this Friday evening at 8.30pm whilst Portimonense contest their second of two matches behind closed doors against Celtic Glasgow in Quinta do Lago on Saturday.
A latest announcement concerns José Mourinho’s Roma who, instead of traveling to South Korea, are now expected in the Algarve on July 26 with two friendlies to be arranged.
By SKIP BANDELE