Liga Nos Preview: Benfica edging closer to record fourth successive title

And all of a sudden we are in May and there are only three rounds to play in Liga Nos. And, with those, three chances to see if Porto can still catch Benfica, or if Rui Vitoria’s side are going to make a date with their club’s history, something they would achieve through getting a fourth title in a row.

Rio Ave vs Benfica

The Encarnados travel to a stadium where they have faced the biggest difficulties in the last few years. Rio Ave has a strong connection with Jorge Mendes, and they usually have in their squad players of a calibre that you would expect to be a bit higher in terms of Portuguese and even European clubs. With those connections, Luis Castro (former FC Porto caretaker) has been doing a good job and for Rio Ave this is an important match, in the way that they need to get points in order to try and catch Maritimo and, more importantly, getting the European ticket that allows the club’s name to travel through Europe.

Maritimo vs Porto

Nuno Espirito Santo and his Dragoes will go to Madeira Island to face the biggest club of the paradise that gave us Cristiano Ronaldo. Maritimo, unlike Rio Ave, is a team that has been facing some issue in the latter seasons, away from the top where they used to be in the late 90’s-early 2000’s. Now, with a weaker squad, manager Daniel Ramos has created something quite magical that has been working wonders, and with 6th position in their hands, they need to try and overcome Porto in order to achieve a return to Europe. For Porto, they will know they have to win, and it will just be a matter of knowing if it’s to overcome Benfica or just to keep their hopes alive.

Two very similar matches for the title contenders against teams that are searching for a European spot, and two matches that promise to be very appetising. There will also be an interesting bout on Sunday morning at Alvalade. The Lisbon derby between Sporting and Belenenses will be played at 11.45, a schedule very unusual for Portugal, but there are movements to try and make Liga Nos a league followed around the globe, and this match will be a good way of showing the quality of the play in the European Champions League. Bas Dost will be the focus on the match as both teams don’t have much to fight for, but the Dutch still has hopes of going over Messi and doing something that, if he achieves it, would be very remarkable.

About the Author

Pedro Maria Coito Castano
A football geek that can answer what's the height of that non-league midfielder. With no ability to play the game, but a keen eye to observe it, I've had a minor role as an assistant manager at an U-13 team in Portugal (Belenenses) and did some scouting for CS Maritimo (also from Portugal), and have a need to be ahead of everyone in terms of who the next big star will be