Football is returning in Portugal! The Primeira Liga has been suspended since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the country’s top-flight league has been cleared to resume the 2019/20 season on June 03.
Liga Portugal initially confirmed that Matchday 25 would commence on June 04 but that date was later moved a day earlier. Gil Vicente’s trip to Portimonense kicks things off on Wednesday, with Porto’s away showdown with Famalicao taking place later that same day.
Excited for the return of the Primeira Liga? Ready to see the likes of Porto, Benfica, Braga, and Sporting CP in action? Here’s everything you need to know about the Portuguese top-flight and how the 2019/20 campaign left off.
Who are the title contenders?
Here's how things left off
With only 10 rounds remaining, the safe bet would be on either Porto or Benfica winning the title. Portugal’s two biggest clubs top the table, with the Dragons (60 pts) holding a slim one-point advantage over the Eagles (59 pts). Sporting Braga sit in third but are way behind on 46 points, meaning as of now, the Primeira Liga is a two-horse title race.
Who are the favorites to qualify for next season's Champions League?
Only the top two teams in Portugal earn tickets to the UEFA Champions League – the winners earn automatic qualification while the runners-up make the qualifying round. As a result, the favorites to make Europe’s premier club competition are Porto and Benfica. While third-placed Sporting Braga are not mathematically out of the equation, it’s hard to see the Eagles losing their 13-point lead.
Who are the favorites to qualify for next season's Europa League?
Here is where things get interesting. Everyone from third to seventh stands a viable chance of making next season’s Europa League. Sporting Braga and Sporting CP are the favorites as they sit on 46 and 42 points, respectively. However, fifth-placed Rio Ave (38 pts), sixth-placed Vitória Guimarães (37 pts), and seventh-placed Famalicão (37 pts) are all within touching distance of the Leões and could beat the Lisbon giants to that final Europa League berth.
Which teams are fighting relegation and who are the favorites to go down?
Desportivo Aves (13 pts) are dead bottom in the standings and are nine points adrift of safety, meaning they are destined for relegation – unless they pull off a miraculous comeback, that is. Only the bottom two teams drop down to the second division, meaning 17th-placed Portimonense (16 pts) are the other side in the danger zone. 16th-placed Paços de Ferreira are only six points clear of the relegation area, which means danger is lurking. The same can be said for 15th-placed Maritimo (24 pts) and 14th-placed Tondela (25 pts) but the odds favor them remaining in the Primera Liga. Belenenses, who are in the 14th spot with 26 points, are 10 points clear and should thus be safe.
Who are the top 5 goalscorers?
Carlos Vinicius (Benfica): 15 goals
Pizzi (Benfica): 14 goals
Fabio Abreu (Moreirense): 10 goals
Paulinho (Braga): 10 goals
Sandro Lima (Gil Vicente): 10 goals
Who are the top 5 assist makers?
Pizzi (Benfica): 8 assists
Bruno Fernandes (former Sporting CP midfielder) 7 assists
Corona (FC Porto): 7 assists
A. Grimaldo (Benfica): 6 assists
Alex Telles (Porto): 5 assists