Top clash

As the Algarve Resident was going to press, Portimonense were preparing on Wednesday afternoon for their biggest challenge of the season so far.

Following the postponement of last weekend’s trip to Maritimo B, manager Lázaro Oliveira had a whole week to fine-tune his high-flying team for the visit from second division leaders Moreirense, who thumped bottom club Trofense 4-0 on Sunday to go three points clear of Penafiel at the top of the table.

Although having played one game less and still facing a long season ahead, the clash with the side that competed in the top tier in 2012/13 will have been defining in the short term as to Portimonense’s own promotion credentials.

Deprived through injury of any recognised strikers during recent games, the Algarveans, who are hoping to make their 2014 centenary year a successful one, were confident of being able to at least include Juninho in their starting line-up.

Last week the lack of firepower upfront was largely responsible for Portimonense’s League Cup exit in Setúbal, where the game ended 1-0 in favour of the hosts following a first leg 2-2 draw on the banks of the Arade.

Back in the second division, the other Algarve club, Farense, continued their slow climb away from the bottom of the table with a creditable 1-1 away draw at Chaves and were hoping to continue that trend on Wednesday at home against mid-table Oliveirense.

By Skip Bandele