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Portugal Liga Nos Title Contenders 2021/22

Tue 23 November 2021 | 17:30

With getting past almost a third of the season, we decided to take a look at the Portugal Liga Nos Title Contenders 2021/22 in our today’s article. Let’s see who is leading the race to be crowned as the champions of Portugal.

Before round 12 of Portugal Primeira Liga kicks off,

Porto

is leading the league with 29 points while the defending champion Sporting, is sitting on the second spot only because of lower goal difference than Porto; and there is only one point that separates Benfica from these top two clubs in the Portugal Primeira Liga table. So, it is fair to say that Portugal Liga Nos is currently one of the most competitive leagues across Europe.

As you may know, these three clubs are known as the

best football clubs in Portugal

who are referred to as “Os Três Grandes” which means big three in Portuguese. In the 2020-21 season, Sporting CP managed to win its 19th league title while their 18th one came back in 2002. Benfica with 37 championships is the most successful club in Portugal and then Porto with 29 comes in second. Porto’s last championship was in the 2019-20 season while Benfica lifted the trophy the season prior to that in 2019.

Everything About Portugal Liga Nos Title Contenders 2021/22

To find out who has the better chance amongst the Portugal Liga Nos title contenders 2021/22 to win the league at the end of the season, we are going to have a complete review of each of the top 3 Primeira Liga teams. Please keep in mind that there are still more than 20 rounds to go and things can change during the following months for each of these three clubs. The following review is based on these teams’ performances so far into the season.

FC Porto

Let’s start our review of Portugal Liga Nos title contenders 2021/22 with the current leader of the table, Porto.

Sérgio Conceição

is having his fifth season at one of the best football clubs in Portugal since he took charge at the start of the 2017-18 season. During his spell at Porto, Conceição has won five domestic titles including two Primeira Liga titles in 2018 and 2020. The 47 years old tactician also represented Porto during his playing days on 67 occasions and have won three league titles with the club as a player.  

Now he is about to replicate that achievement as a manager as well and if his side could keep up the good form, Conceição will celebrate his third Primeira Liga title as a manager. With scoring 28 goals in 11 matches, Porto has the best attacking line amongst the Portugal Liga Nos title contenders 2021/22 and they are yet to be beaten as they have nine wins and two draw to their name. Sérgio Conceição is using a 4-4-2 shape as his team’s main formation. A high press line and effective defensive tactics were Porto’s cornerstones for their recent year’s successes both in Portugal and Europe.

Porto Results and Fixtures Ahead

After winning the first couple of matches, Porto caught off guard against the relegation zone side, Maritimo as they drew 1-1 away from home. Their second draw of the season came against the title holders Sporting CP which was also a 1-1 away from home. Since then, Porto have won six straight games by scoring 19 goals in those matches. But now they have some tough fixtures ahead of them as they will be facing five of the top seven

Primeira Liga teams

in the next six rounds.

And let’s not forget they are in survival mode in one of the death groups in the Champions League. In group B, Porto are currently sitting in second place with only one point more than Atletico Madrid and they have to play against Liverpool in England. Then a life and death match against Atletico in Dragao on the last matchday will decides Porto’s European campaign for the season. Therefore, Conceição’s men have to be on their top form for the next 40 days in order to keep their chances alive both on the Primeira Liga and Champions League. 

Porto Best Players in 2020-21

Porto have lost one of their most prolific players in the recent years, Moussa Marega in the summer transfer window. But it seems that didn’t bother them as they still have the Iranian international, Mehdi Taremi leading their attack line. So far Taremi has scored seven goals and provided his teammates with four assists. The 29 years old striker is having one of his best seasons in Porto colors and that could be a huge help for one of the

Portugal Liga Nos title contenders 2021/22

.

Also, the league’s top scorer is from Porto as well: Luis Diaz has scored nine goals so far and has two assists to his name to make it 11 goal contributions in 11 games. The Colombian Winger is having his third season at the Portuguese side. On the middle of the pitch, Porto has one of the best players in the league, Vitinha who is on loan from

Wolverhampton

, has been a complete box-to-box player in Porto’s 4-4-2 shape. At the back, the veteran Pepe is leading the defense line and it is hard to believe he is 38 years old given to his work rate and desire to win.

Sporting CP

The Portuguese lions are currently on second place just because of lower goal difference that Porto. Sporting CP is being coached by one of the youngest coaches across Europe. The 36 years old Rúben Filipe Marques Amorim as known as Ruben Amorim is the former Portuguese international who started his coaching career only three years ago. After an extraordinary stint at

Braga

, Sporting decided to pay the €10m release clause of the young tactician back in March 2020. On his first full season at the club, Amorim led Sporting to its first league title after 19 years. The Taca da Liga title in addition to a Supercup were just the icing on the cake for Sporting CP fans.

With suffering only one defeat throughout the season, Sporting accumulated 85 points and finished the 2020-21 season by five points above Porto. Amorim’s

Sporting

are not scoring as much as the other Portugal Liga Nos title contenders 2021/22 but on the defensive phase, they are the best team in the league with conceding only four goals in 11 matches. Ruben Amorim is implementing a modern 3-4-3 formation that looks impossible to breach in the backline and he has just enough talent in his squad to create a goal out of nothing. 

Sporting Results and Fixtures Ahead

Sporting Cp started the season quite well as the beat Vizela, Braga and Belenenses SAD by conceding only one goal. Then two back-to-back 1-1 draws against Famalicao and Porto put a halt to their good form. Since then, Amorim’s men have celebrated six consecutive wins and kept a clean sheet in five of those games. For the upcoming fixtures, Sporting CP have some of the midtable teams on their plate and of course, a tough game away from home at Benfica which is going to take place on the 13th round. Altogether, Sporting has an easier schedule compared to other two

Portugal Liga Nos title contenders 2021/22

.

On the European front, Sporting has a hard mission to do. After a devastating 5-1 loss to Ajax on their return to Champions League, they have suffered a 1-0 loss at Dortmund which broke the hearts of Sporting fans. But thanks to Ajax’s home and away wins against Dortmund and Sporting’s two 4-1 and 4-0 wins against Besiktas, now Sporting is tied with Dortmund on six points. That means if Sporting manages to win Dortmund in their next UCL match in Estádio José Alvalade (Sporting’s home ground), they have the upper hand on the last matchday as they are going to face against an already qualified

Ajax

Sporting Best Players in 2020-21

As mentioned above, Sporting’s strength is in the defensive half of the pitch. That explains why the captain Sebastian Coates is one of their best players so far. The Uruguayan defender has also been a key part in their last season’s campaign which led to winning the title. With 196 cm height, he is a lethal weapon when it comes to set-pieces as he scored two match winner goals and assisted one as well. And let’s not forget about the Spaniard shot stoper, Antonio Adán who have kept seven clean sheets in 11 games.

When you play with such a defensive attitude, you must have some productive attacking players to win matches for your team and Sporting has some of them. 

Pedro Goncalves

 aka Pote didn’t drop his form after scoring 23 goals in the last season’s campaign. With four goals, the 23 years old attacking midfielder is the top scorer of his side as Palhinha and Porro have two goals each. There is no doubt that in order to stay in the race as one of the Portugal Liga Nos title contenders 2021/22, Sporting needs to be more ruthless in front of goal but for the moment, they are doing just fine.

S.L. Benfica

S.L. Benfica is the third team on

Portugal Primeira Liga table

with only one point less than the top two teams. As one of the best football clubs in Portugal, Benfica fans always expect their club to win trophies. Especially when they invested €105 million in the 2020 summer transfer window and brought in players such as Darwin Nunez, Everton, Luca Waldschmidt, Jan Vertonghen, and Nicolás Otamendi. But the season ended in disappointment as they finished the league in 3rd place, nine points behind the champions Sporting CP. But this season thing looks more promising and the coach Jorge Jesus’s ideas are working for the Portuguese eagles.  

Jorge Jesus is having his second spell at the club after a prosperous first spell from 2009 to 2015 which he added 10 silverwares to the club’s trophy cabinet including three league titles. The 67 years old Portuguese mastermind is the most decorated manager in the league and his attacking football has always been praised by the football fans. Jorge Jesus is now using an attacking 3-4-2-1 shape which can strike heavily on counter attacks. Beating Barcelona by three goals to nil shows that

Benfica

is aiming high this season and it’s not hard to imagine them lifting at least one trophy in May.  

Benfica Results and Fixtures Ahead

Benfica had the perfect start to the season as they won seven out of seven first matches. During that era, they beat some relatively top teams in the Portugal Primeira Liga table such as Gil Vecente and

Vitoria de Guimaraes

both away from home. But in the 8th round, a 1-0 defeat to Portimonense at home meant that they have lost the top place in the table. Their recent big win against Braga with a score line of 6-1 has certainly set up the mood for the upcoming challenging fixtures against Sporting and Benfica which is going to take place during December.

After qualifying through play-offs, Benfica got placed in the Champions League Group E alongside

Bayern Munich

, Barcelona, and Dynamo Kyiv. A goalless draw at Ukraine started off their European campaign. The 3-0 home win against Barca was one of those great UCL nights for the Portuguese side fans. But then two home and away heavy defeats against Bayern Munich made things complicated for Benfica as they are two points behind Barca. Now Benfica have to win or at least draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou to keep their hopes alive for the last matchday against Dynamo Kyiv at Estádio da Luz. 

Benfica Best Players in 2020-21

With five goals and three assists in ten games, Rafa Silva has been the most prolific player in Benfica’s squad. The 28 years old Portuguese is playing behind the striker in a 3-4-2-1 formation and his having a decent season so far. His partner in that position is the Brazilian Everton Soares who proved his worth since joining the club in 2020. Everton’s numbers are not as impressing as Rafa Silva's, but his work rate and pressing in front of the pitch is a crucial part of Jorge Jesus’s plans in the game.

A back three consisted of the 26 years old Brazilian Verissimo and the well experienced duo of Otamendi and Vertonghen are performing quite well. In addition to defensive duties, they have an important role in building up from the back and they are doing it as expected. On the middle of the pitch, Benfica is blessed with two energic midfielders who are ideal for the formation that they are playing with. Both João Mário and Julian Weigl were struggling in their careers before joining Benfica but right now, it seems that they have found peace as they are the key players in one of

Portugal Liga Nos title contenders 2021/22

squad’s.

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source: SportMob

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