MX23RW : Sunday, June 13 07:56:18| >> :600:329850:329850:
May 19, 2021 at 6pm UK at Estádio do Dragão
Taremi (14'), Grujic (28'), Martinez (50'), Leite (81')
Manafa (23'), Leite (63')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Phete (32')

Preview: Porto vs. Belenenses - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Primeira Liga clash between Porto and Belenenses, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Having sealed their second-placed finish in the Primeira Liga table, Porto welcome Belenenses to the Estadio do Dragao in the final game of the domestic season on Wednesday evening.

While they have fallen short to champions Sporting Lisbon, a 3-0 win over Rio Ave saw them maintain the four-point gap between themselves and third-placed Benfica with one game left to play, booking their place in next season's Champions League as a result.

Match preview

Porto coach Sergio Conceicao pictured on April 7, 2021© Reuters

Porto come into this game on the back of consecutive Primeira Liga victories, firstly defeating Farense 5-1 at home, as Mehdi Taremi netted a brace alongside goals from Antonio Martinez, Luis Diaz and Joao Mario, before Lica scored a consolation goal for the visitors in the dying minutes.

They then followed that up with a comfortable 3-0 away victory over Rio Ave on Saturday, as Martinez and Diaz again got on the scoresheet in the second half before midfielder Sergio Oliveira added a third in the 68th minute to seal a comfortable victory for Os Dragoes.

Those victories followed an important 1-1 draw in O Classico against third-placed Benfica, helping Sergio Conceicao's side fend off their rivals and maintain their second spot.

Last season's Primeira Liga champions have managed to stay at the top end of the table throughout the whole season with 23 wins and just two defeats in 33 top-flight matches, while they have not lost any of their 27 league games since the beginning of November.

While they have eventually fallen short of retaining the title, Conceicao's side should still see this as an acceptable season given that they have secured Champions League football, and they will hope to end the season on a high with a third straight win on Wednesday.

They take on a Belenenses side who have enjoyed a rise up to the top half of the table thanks to a strong run of form in the top flight.

Belenenses head coach Petit pictured in June 2020© Reuters

Having previously been threatened by relegation, Petit's side have seen an impressive rise up the table thanks to a solid run of 18 points from their last 11 games.

However, they suffered a disappointing defeat last time out, as they took on Santa Clara with the chance to move into seventh place and knock on the door of the top six with a victory.

O Belem went into that game on the back of consecutive victories, but a brace from Carlos condemned them to a 2-0 defeat, sending Petit's men back down to ninth spot.

With competition for mid-table spots extremely tight, Belenenses still have plenty of scope to move up or down several places depending on results across the league on the final day, and Petit will be desperate for his side to finish the season with a positive result to hold onto their top-half position on the final day.

Porto Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Belenenses Primeira Liga form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Porto's Antonio Martinez celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in January 2021© Reuters

Porto will remain without winger Jesus Corona through injury, while left-back Zaidu Sanusi was absent from the squad last time out and could miss out again on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, centre-back Chancel Mbemba will return to the squad from suspension, and he should regain his place from Diogo Leite, despite the solid back line last time out in Mbemba's absence.

Mehdi Taremi will lead the line, having registered 15 goals and 14 assists in 31 league appearances this season.

He will be joined by Antonio Martinez, who has stepped up since becoming a fixture in the first team with three goals in his last four games, since Moussa Marega's pre-contract agreement with Al-Hilal has limited his chances in the side before he makes the switch at the end of the season.

Belenenses should come into Wednesday's game with a fairly clean bill of health, as Petit has a full squad to choose from.

They will be boosted by the return of midfielder Silvestre Varela, who served a suspension last time out.

He could come back into the front three alongside Miguel Cardoso and Mateo Cassierra, who has fired Belenenses up the table with six goals in his last seven Primeira Liga games.

At the other end of the pitch, Petit should stick with the familiar back three of Goncalo Silva, Thibang Phete and Tomas Ribeiro.

Porto possible starting lineup:
Marchesin; Mario, Pepe, Mbemba, Manafa; Otavio, Oliveira, Uribe, Diaz; Taremi, Martinez

Belenenses possible starting lineup:
Kritsyuk; Silva, Phete, Ribeiro; Esgaio, Sithole, Sousa, Lima; Cardoso, Cassierra, Varela

SM words green background

We say: Porto 2-0 Belenenses

Although Belenenses have undoubtedly improved in the second half of the campaign, we see Porto simply being too strong for their visitors on Wednesday.

Os Dragoes will hope to end the season with three consecutive wins, and they have more than enough attacking quality to break down Belenenses' resilient defence and secure all three points.

Top tip

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Zaidu Sanusi in action for Porto on April 7, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
CSporting Lisbon34267165204585
5Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira34158114041-153
6Santa ClaraSanta Clara34137144436846
7Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes34127153744-743
11Gil Vicente34116173342-939
RRio AveRio Ave34713142540-1534
RSC FarenseFarense34710173148-1731

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