Matchweek 33 in the Portugal’s Primeira Liga is set to feature some thrilling story lines… so let’s take a look at five of the games you should look forward to this weekend.
Familicão v Porto (Saturday, 20th)
Though Familicão look certain for a mid-table finish, Portuguese giants FC Porto will not let their guard down as Sergio Conceição’s men continue to chase their fading title chances. A win for Porto will see them just one point behind first place Benfica ahead of their crucial derby game against Sporting, making way for a dramatic final day in Portugal league history. A loss, however, would see Benfica crowned champions for the first time since 2019, ending their four-year title drought. With a little help from Sporting, could Porto keep their dreams alive?
Arouca v Chaves (Saturday, May 20th)
A Portuguese footballing fairytale. Arouca, promoted to the first division last season, and Chaves, promoted to the first division this season, respectively sit 6th and 7th in the table with only two points separating the ambitious clubs. Portugal’s last UEFA Conference League spot is 5th place… a win for Arouca would see them snag ahead of Vitória SC by one point, but a win for Chaves would see the newly promoted side just one point off 5th with one league game remaining. Who inches closer to Europe? Can either team complete the unthinkable?
Braga v Boavista (Saturday, May 20th)
SC Braga have been extraordinary this season. Some ingenious transfer business in both the summer and winter, as well as the smart promotion of Braga youth coach Artur Jorge to first-team manager, has seen the Braguistas fray the closest they’ve been to Champions league football in over a decade. Boavista, who look certain for a mid-table finish with one game to go, are fighting to determine whether they finish in the top or bottom half of the Portuguese league table. Will Braga retain their 3rd place Champions League playoff spot? Or will they concede it to an in-form Sporting?
Santa Clara v Portimonense (Saturday, May 20th)
While Portimonense are safe, Santa Clara sit rock bottom of the table in 18th place… but not all hope is lost. 16th place in Portugal is a relegation playoff spot, and Santa Clara — along with Paços de Ferreira and Marítimo — are in the hunt for that place. Only 4 points separate Santa Clara from 16th place Marítimo, with Paços being a mere one point above them in the race. Portuguese football is unpredictable… will Marítimo hold on to the playoff spot? Will Santa Clara stay rock bottom or rise to the challenge with two games to go?
Sporting v Benfica (Sunday, May 21st)
A Portuguese blockbuster. A win for Benfica will see them crowned Portuguese Champions in their rival’s stadium… a dream for the Encarnados, a nightmare for the Leões. However, the task isn’t as easy as it sounds. Ruben Amorim’s Sporting are in good form at the moment, not having lost a league game since the beginning of February. Roger Schmidt’s men, however, have stumbled as of late in comparison to their usual dominant form, only pulling narrow wins and losing to Chaves in matchweek 28. Sporting beating Benfica this Sunday could not only see them inch three points closer to a Champions League playoff spot, but also leave their fierce rival’s title hopes to the threat of a salivating Porto side. Each side has something to play for this weekend… will Benfica end their four-year title drought? Will Sporting crash their party?
Stay tuned, because all will be revealed in matchweek 33.
Andrew Abrantes | Get Football