On the 3rd match of this first matchday of the Portuguese championship, recently-promoted Portimonense will face Boavista,
in what will be the first match for this Algarve’s team in the top tier of Portuguese football in 7 years, because they have been on the lower divisions since the 2010/2011 season, where the team ended up getting relegated right after they were promoted. This will be their 15th participation in the Primeira Liga.
The team coached by Vítor Oliveira had a fabulous season in 2016/2017, winning the Portuguese 2nd tier in style, averaging almost 2 points per game (which is considerable for that league, since it is very competitive) and having the best offensive record (with 70 goals scored) and the 2nd defence in the league, right behind Desportivo das Aves (with 39 goals conceded in 42 matches).
The team, as it was expected since they were recently promoted, made several changes in their roster, signing 6 new players and getting rid of 4 others. Their starting line-up for this match should be close to the following:
Ricardo Ferreira; Ricardo Pessoa; Lucas, Felipe Macedo e Lumor Agbenyenu; Fabrício, Paulinho e Pedro Sá; Ewerton, Wellington and Bruno Tabata.
Moving on to Boavista, the team is starting another season on the main tier of Portuguese football looking for, at first, ensuring their maintenance in this top tier, something they have been able to achieve with relative ease since their return to this League, and, eventually, trying to qualify for the European competitions, although with less available resources than the other Europa League’s contenders.
Last season they performed well and had a good campaign, finishing closer to the European spots than the relegation zone.
Their coach Miguel Leal was fundamental for this team’s improvement, especially on the defensive side, since they had a pretty good defensive record last season, as opposed to their offensive one, which wasn’t great. Regarding the transfer market, the team has made several moves, even more than their opponent, signing 12 players and losing some as well.
Miguel Leal should go for a starting line-up similar to the following:
Vagner; Edu Machado, Rossi, Sparagna e Talocha; Idris e Tahar; Renato Santos, Fábio Espinho e Ricardo Clarke; Leonardo Ruiz.
Portimonense vs Boavista Pick:
This will be a very interesting match, at least for two reasons: Understanding the ability of this Portimonense side in this Primeira Liga’s context, and also to understand Boavista’s ability to improve compared to their last seasons (namely to understand if they will, or not, aim for something more than staying up- I believe they will, since Miguel Leal is a very competent manager).
In any way, and with the deep changes in both rosters, especially Boavista’s, I think these teams will be far from their best quality-wise.
Besides that, Miguel Leal’s Boavista is typically a team more worried about defending than attacking (they look to defend well first, and only then attack), which should turn this match into a low-scoring affair.
Well, due to all of this, I believe this match will not have a lot of goals, and I could even see a 0-0 draw.