MX23RW : Sunday, May 9 23:49:56| >> :120:50827:50827:
Apr 18, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Estadio da Madeira
NacionalNacional
1-0
PortoPorto
Taremi (20')
Camacho (42'), Gorre (56'), Manafa (81'), Haica Rouai (90+1')
FT(HT: 1-0)

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

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

Porto will look to increase the pressure on Sporting Lisbon at the top of the Primeira Liga table on Saturday, when they make the trip to the Estadio da Madeira to take on basement side Nacional.

Os Dragoes have kept themselves in the title race with five consecutive league wins, while the hosts have dropped to the bottom of the league with eight straight defeats in the top flight.


Match preview

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

Nacional come into this game in their worst run of the season, having lost their last eight games in the top flight.

After six consecutive defeats, Luis Freire departed the club and Manuel Machado was brought in for his fifth spell in the Nacional hot seat, but he has not had a promising start to life back in Madeira.

In Machado's first two games, Os Alvinegros have fallen to consecutive 5-1 defeats to Portimonense and Santa Clara.

Most recently, Santa Clara led 3-0 at home through a Mikel Villanueva goal and a Rui Costa brace, before Rui Correia's consolation goal went on to be overshadowed by late strikes from Carlos and Ukra.

That result means that Os Alvinegros have now conceded 23 goals in their last eight league outings, while netting just eight in that time.

As a result, Machado's men have now fallen to the foot of the Primeira Liga table, now sitting three points behind Maritimo in the relegation playoff place and four points adrift of automatic safety.

While they are by no means condemned to relegation yet, Nacional undoubtedly need to break that dismal run and put some results on the board sooner rather than later, if they are to stand any chance of avoiding relegation immediately back to the second tier.

However, they take on a Porto side in an impressive run of form, coming into this game on the back of five consecutive league victories and a solid Champions League second-leg win over Chelsea.

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

The London club came into the second leg with a two-goal lead, and Sergio Conceicao's side were unable to break the deadlock until Mehdi Taremi's acrobatic overhead kick deep into added time.

While that strike came too late to trigger a full comeback, meaning they were eliminated at the quarter-final stage, Os Dragoes will take encouragement from that performance, as they go into the final straight of the league campaign and keep up their pursuit of the top spot.

The Estadio do Dragao outfit have kept themselves firmly in the title race with a run of five consecutive league wins, which followed an important draw with league leaders Sporting Lisbon.

In their last league outing, Porto picked up a 2-0 win away at Tondela thanks to goals from Antonio Martinez and Taremi.

Before that, Martinez got on the scoresheet again, as he found the net in the 95th minute to seal a 2-1 win for his side in dramatic fashion as they looked set to draw at home to Santa Clara.

As a result of their strong run of form in the top flight, combined with two consecutive draws for the league leaders, Os Dragoes have now cut the gap between themselves and Sporting Lisbon to six points with eight games of the season left to play.

Conceicao will be desperate for a sixth consecutive victory on Saturday, as they look to ramp up the pressure on the faltering league leaders, and continue their push to retain the Primeira Liga title.

Nacional Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

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

Porto form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W



Team News

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

Nacional will be without winger Vincent Thill, who will serve a suspension after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season upon his return to the side last time out.

Forward Brayan Riascos will be pushing for a return to the starting side on Saturday, after he was dropped to the bench for the Santa Clara game despite topping Os Alvinegros' scoring charts with 10 goals in all competitions this season.

Centre-back Julio Cesar will also be hoping for a return to the starting XI, having been absent for the two 5-1 defeats.

Machado opted to make a change in goal for the last game, as Antonio Filipe took the place of Riccardo Piscitelli who was dropped to the bench.

Porto opted to rest several key players in the Tondela victory, with the second leg against Chelsea in mind, although Conceicao is expected to revert back to his strongest side with the league now firmly the priority for Os Dragoes.

That could see Moussa Marega and Mehdi Taremi reform the front two, supported by the attacking threat of Sergio Oliveira from midfield.

However, Antonio Martinez will also be hopeful of a starting spot, having found the net in his last two league appearances.

Nacional possible starting lineup:
Filipe; De Souza, Cesar, Henrique, Kal; Rochez, Bessa, Borges, Danilovic, Gorre; Riascos

Porto possible starting lineup:
Marchesin; Manafa, Mbemba, Pepe, Sanusi; Corona, Uribe, Oliveira, Otavio; Marega, Taremi


SM words green background

We say: Nacional 0-4 Porto

The contrasting form of the two sides does not bode well for Nacional, and we can only see those trends continuing with a dominant victory for Os Dragoes on Saturday.

Conceicao's side will know that they need to keep winning games to pile the pressure on Sporting Lisbon, and they should dominate a Nacional side who are without a point in eight games.



Top 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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How you voted: Nacional vs Porto

Nacional
5.3%
Draw
5.3%
Porto
89.5%
19
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Porto coach Sergio Conceicao pictured on April 7, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sporting Lisbon31247056154179
2Porto31218262283471
3Benfica31207459223767
4Braga32186851321960
5Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira32148103737050
6Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes31126133539-442
7MoreirenseMoreirense31813103140-937
8Santa ClaraSanta Clara31107143736137
9BelenensesBelenenses31813102228-637
10TondelaTondela31106153350-1736
11Gil Vicente32106163040-1036
12PortimonensePortimonense3197153338-534
13FamalicaoFamalicao31810133544-934
14Maritimo32104182642-1634
15Rio AveRio Ave31613122335-1231
16BoavistaBoavista31612133647-1130
17SC FarenseFarense31610152939-1028
18Nacional3167182851-2325

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