Primeira Liga round-up: Gap begins to open up amongst Portugal's Big Three

This past round featured a Lisbon derby, starring two of Portugal's "Big Three": Benfica and Sporting CP. And for avid followers of Portuguese football, it certainly did not disappoint, but it was largely one way traffic in favor of one of these two highly decorated teams.

Meanwhile, later on Monday, two struggling sides, Vizela vs Belenenses, will go toe to toe in a desperate scrap for points; both teams have won just once during this campaign.

Here's all you need to know following this weekend's Primeira Liga action.

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Gap begins to open between Portugal's "Big Three": For Portuguese football fans, the big game of the last round was arguably the clash featuring Sporting CP and Benfica. Prior to the contest, Benfica had lost just once all season, while Sporting CP have yet to lose a match thus far. At the end of 90 minutes, only one group of fans were celebrating - and it certainly wasn't the home support as Sporting CP recorded a crucial 3-1 road win over their hosts. A four-point gap has now opened up between Sporting CP and Porto, who are joint-tied for first, and Benfica, who sit in third. It'll surely be very interesting to see if this match proves to be really decisive as the title race heats up. 

Vizela vs Belenenses and the battle to avoid the drop: A scrappy battle looks set to be on the cards on Monday evening as Vizela vs Belenenses gets under way. Both teams have had a miserable campaign so far, with just one win each, and while Belenenses do appear to be much worse off, things could really change after this game. As of now, Vizela have earned 10 points and sit in 15th place, while Belenenses have earned eight and are rooted to the bottom of the table. However, the visitors have picked up slightly more points (four) from their last five games than their hosts (three), and that includes recording a victory - something that Vizela haven't experienced since beating Tondela 2-1 on August 14th.

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Sporting CP vs Boavista: Along with Porto, Sporting CP are the only side yet to lose a game in the Primeira Liga this season. The Lions, thanks to their 3-1 win over Benfica last time out, are four points ahead of the Eagles, but still sit numerically in second spot, behind Porto. As such, it'll be that much more crucial for them to continue keeping pace with the Dragons, who will be in action on Sunday. That means that a win for Sporting CP against Boavista could temporarily lift them into top spot in the table, and they will certainly look to exploit Boavista's issues that have seen the visitors win just twice and pick up a measly two points from their last five games.

Famalicão vs Benfica: Benfica won't have time to rue last weekend's loss too long, as the Eagles are back in action on Sunday as they travel to face struggling Famalicão. In short, this will be a great chance for the visitors to get a much-needed win in order to avoid falling too far behind current league leaders Porto and Sporting CP. As for Famalicão, a once bright patch of form has now turned sour, with two back to back losses seeing them slide back down towards the dreaded drop zone.

Porto vs Sporting Braga: With Sporting CP in action a day prior, the onus will be on Porto to make sure they secure a win over visiting Sporting Braga. Should the Dragons not earn all three points and Sporting CP beat Boavista, they could see a small - but potentially crucial - gap start to open up as they will be leapfrogged into first by Sporting. This game, however, could be a trick test, as Sporting Braga are the top ranked team besides the "Big Three" this season. Sitting in fourth place, the visitors have lost just one of their last five, and naturally will hope to do their very best to nick a point - perhaps more - over the current league leaders on Sunday.

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