MX23RW : Monday, August 2 07:22:03| >> :600:1111399:1111399:
Dec 5, 2020 at 8.30pm UK at Estádio do Dragão
PortoPorto
4-3
TondelaTondela
Sanusi (4'), Marega (36', 48'), Taremi (56')
Uribe (40'), Evanilson (79')
Uribe (90+3')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Gonzalez (20', 74'), Barbosa (33')
Medioub (39'), Augusto (62'), Mendes (79'), Grau (83'), Martinez (90+1')

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

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

Porto will be looking to secure their third-straight victory in the Primeira Liga when they face off against Tondela on Saturday evening.

In contrast, the visitors are languishing in 11th after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Vitoria Guimaraes in their most recent outing.


Match preview

Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao pictured on November 3, 2020© Reuters

Porto set up to defend when Manchester City paid a visit to the Estadio do Dragao - a move which Sergio Conceicao drew criticism for - but it was one that ultimately paid dividends as the Portuguese champions held City to a goalless draw on Tuesday evening.

However, Conceicao's war of words with Pep Guardiola before and during the game was little in comparison to Porto's post-match assessment of their opponents, with the Portuguese side releasing a newsletter which singled out Fernandinho, Ederson and Bernardo Silva for matters on and off the field - which has understandably led to an angered reaction from City.

The two sides will certainly not be out to kiss and make up any time soon, especially with the prospect of Porto facing Man City again this season after both sides secured qualification for the last 16, allowing Conceicao to focus entirely on the league before next week's dead rubber against Olympiacos.

The Portuguese champions saw their five-game winning streak ended at the hands of City in midweek, but Porto have now gone four games in all competitions without shipping a single goal and will be confident of keeping that run going against an underwhelming Tondela oufit.

However, Conceicao's men are still off the pace as they look to defend their title, with a couple of slip-ups allowing Sporting Lisbon to storm to the top of the table, and fourth-placed Porto sit six points behind the leaders after eight matches in the 2020-21 campaign.

Pako Ayestaran, now in charge of Tondela, pictured in 2016© Reuters

In contrast, Tondela were unable to stretch their winning streak across all competitions to three matches against Vitoria Guimaraes, who eased a 2-0 victory on Tondela's turf last Friday.

A penalty from Andre Andre broke the deadlock before Bruno Duarte quickly added another five minutes later, and Tondela boss Pako Ayestaran had his misery compounded as Salvador Agra saw red 20 minutes before the full time whistle blew.

Despite that lowly defeat on familiar territory, Tondela's overall form in recent weeks is certainly cause for optimism; Ayestaran's side have taken the spoils in three of their last five in all competitions and recently advanced to the fourth round of the Taca de Portugal, where they will incidentally face Porto on December 13.

Porto have prevailed in their last seven encounters with Tondela in the Portuguese top flight, and Ronan's strike in a 3-1 July defeat was the first goal that Tondela had scored against the champions since beating them 1-0 in 2016.

Porto Primeira Liga form: LDWLWW
Porto form (all competitions): WWWWWD

Tondela Primeira Liga form: LDWLWL
Tondela form (all competitions): DWLWWL


Team News

Porto players celebrate scoring against Marseille in the Champions League on November 3, 2020© Reuters

Porto will revert back to their regular four-man defence after lining up with five at the back against City, with Diogo Leite expected to make way for the returning Luis Diaz.

Jesus Corona was taken off just after the hour mark on Tuesday with an injury to his left leg, and the midfielder is facing a battle to be fit for the visit of Tondela, but Felipe Anderson is ready to deputise if required.

Central defenders Pepe and Ivan Marcano continue to recuperate following injuries and neither will be ready to play a part on Saturday, but Marko Grujic is back after missing out the draw with City through suspension.

Meanwhile, Agra's red card has ruled him out of this game, which could potentially see Jhon Murillo pushed higher up the pitch and Bebeto fill the void on the right-hand side of the defence.

Twenty-year-old Joao Sousa will continue to deputise in goal for Babacar Niasse, who is yet to recover from coronavirus, while Villarreal loanee Mario Gonzalez has also contracted the disease recently.

Porto possible starting lineup:
Marchesin; Manafa, Mbemba, Sarr, Sanusi; Grujic, Oliveira, Otavio; Diaz, Marega, Anderson

Tondela possible starting lineup:
Sousa; Bebeto, Medloub, Martinez, Tavares, Ferreira; Murillo, Augusto, Pedro, Barbosa; Strkalj


SM words green background

We say: Porto 2-0 Tondela

For now, Porto can focus all their efforts on their title defence with qualification for the Champions League last 16 already confirmed, and Conceicao's men will be desperate to close the gap on Sporting ahead of the new year. Tondela will put up a fight but are not likely to cause an upset on Porto's turf - this should be a routine win for the champions.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on November 8, 2020
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