MX23RW : Saturday, May 15 10:57:49| >> :600:92343:92343:
Apr 10, 2021 at 6pm UK at Estádio João Cardoso

Grau (39'), Medioub (48'), Bebeto (58'), Martinez (88')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Martinez (19'), Taremi (83')
Otavio (60')

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

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

After a 2-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Chelsea on Wednesday, Porto will look to bounce back with a fifth consecutive league win on Saturday, when they travel to take on Tondela.

With nine games left to play, Os Dragoes sit second in the Primeira Liga table, eight points behind league leaders Sporting Lisbon, while the hosts have moved up to ninth and away from the threat of relegation thanks to an upturn in form.

Match preview

Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao pictured on February 17, 2021© Reuters

Tondela got back to winning ways last time out, when they travelled to take on Vitoria de Guimaraes.

CDT Auriverdes took the lead through Mario Gonzalez, but Oscar Estupinan equalised for the hosts before Gonzalez netted his second goal of the game to seal all three points for Pako Ayestaran's side.

That was Tondela's eighth league victory of the season, just one fewer than they managed in the entirety of the last campaign.

As a result, Ayestaran's men have now steered well clear of the relegation places, with the gap between themselves and the automatic drop zone stretched to seven points with nine matches left to play.

CDT Auriverdes will now focus on securing the best possible league position, with the opportunity to reduce the gap between themselves and the likes of Moreirense and Santa Clara, with the eighth and seventh-placed sides sitting three and four points ahead of them respectively.

However, they face a very tough test on Saturday when they take on a Porto side who will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing European defeat on Wednesday.

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

Porto suffered a defeat in the home leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie last time out, as goals from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell gave the Blues a two-goal lead going into the second leg.

However, Sergio Conceicao's side have hit a strong run of form in domestic action, having won their last four games in the Portuguese top flight.

Most recently, the defending champions secured a 2-1 win at home to Santa Clara in dramatic fashion.

Sergio Oliveira put Os Dragoes ahead from the penalty spot, before Carlos equalised with a penalty of his own, and the game looked set to finish 1-1 until Toni Martinez netted a winner in the fifth minute of added time to snatch all three points for Conceicao's men.

As a result, they closed the gap between themselves and Sporting Lisbon to eight points after Sporting's draw with Moreirense, slightly renewing their hopes of retaining the title.

If they are to stand a chance of doing that, Conceicao will feel that his side needs to win every league game until the end of the season, while they are counting on the league leaders dropping points.

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

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

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

Team News

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

Tondela could remain without Naoufel Khacef on the left-hand side, after he was absent from the squad against Vitoria de Guimaraes.

However, their options will be boosted by the return of midfielder Salvador Agra, after he served a suspension last time out.

Meanwhile, they also recently welcomed experienced right-back Bebeto back to action, boosting their defensive quality.

Porto's only absentee should be centre-back Ivan Marcano, who remains out with a muscle injury.

Despite missing the Champions League tie against Chelsea, both forward Mehdi Taremi and midfielder Sergio Oliveira will be able to play in this game, with the pair registering a combined 21 goals and 16 assists in the Portuguese top flight this season.

Chancel Mbemba was given a rest in the last league game, but he could come back into the side to partner Pepe on Saturday.

Tondela possible starting lineup:
Trigueira; Bebeto, Tavares, Alves, Ferreira; Pedro, Grau, Olabe; Murillo, Gonzalez, Barbosa

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

SM words green background

We say: Tondela 1-2 Porto

The hosts will certainly be no pushovers on Saturday, having put together a decent run of form, but we see Porto coming out with a narrow win with a full squad available to pick from.

With the battle for second spot hearing up, Conceicao's side need to ensure they keep winning, and they should have enough to pick up three crucial points on the road.

Top tip

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Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao pictured on February 17, 2021
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1Sporting Lisbon32257057154282
5Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira33148113739-250
6Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes32126143641-542
8Santa ClaraSanta Clara32117143836240
10Gil Vicente33116163240-839
15Rio AveRio Ave32613132336-1331
17SC FarenseFarense32610163044-1428

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