This weekend sees the return to league action following a fortnight’s international break with Portimonense welcoming Porto to the Municipal Stadium on Sunday evening (September 15).
Last season both Benfica and Sporting Lisbon suffered surprise defeats in the Algarve and manager António Folha would probably love to complete a ‘top three’ hat-trick over his former employers – the most recent encounters between the two clubs resulted in 4-1 (away) and 3-0 (home) drubbings and one has to look back to 1987 for Portimonense’s last top flight success over the serial champions.
However, given Porto’s below par start to the current campaign, Folha’s reshaped team will fancy its chances this time around.
The break also afforded Folha the opportunity to give new signings Júnior Tavares and Anderson Oliveira some valuable match time with high-flying second division neighbours Farense proving willing sparring partners last Saturday morning. Played behind closed doors over four 30-minute periods, the session saw Marlos Moreno and Aylton Boa Morte give Portimonense a two-goal lead before strikes from Furlan and Mayambela for the visitors produced a draw at full time.
In other news the League Cup third round draw has given Portimonense a fighting chance of reaching the competition’s semi-final stage with Sporting, Rio Ave and Gil Vicente providing the Group C opposition.
Significantly, the last-mentioned Liga Nos newcomers, now managed by ex-coach Vítor Oliveira, are the only away opponents for the opening fixture on September 25 while the other two sides will have to travel to the Algarve on October 5 and December 21.
By SKIP BANDELE