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Primeira Liga | Gameweek 26
Mar 16, 2024 at 8.30pm UK
Estadio Do Dragao

4 - 1

Conceicao (55'), Pepe (68'), Evanilson (77'), Martinez (89')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Pepe (17' og.)
Lacava (38'), Costa (41')
Lacava (49')

Preview: Porto vs. Vizela - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Porto and Vizela, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Still licking their wounds from their gut-wrenching Champions League exit, a disconsolate Porto play host to Vizela in round 26 of the Portuguese Primeira Liga on Saturday.

The visitors head into the weekend on a run of five consecutive defeats against the Dragoes since 2021 and will journey to the Estadio do Dragao to end this poor three-year spell.

Match preview

FC Porto's Diogo Costa in action against Arsenal on February 21, 2024© Reuters

Porto's Champions League campaign came to an end on Tuesday when they were beaten on penalties by Arsenal following a valiant defensive display at the Emirates Stadium.

Aiming to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg on February 21, when Wanderson Galeno curled home the only goal of the game in the 94th minute, the Gunners drew level courtesy of a neat finish from Belgian forward Leandro Trossard just before half time.

Veteran defender Pepe rolled back the days at the Emirates as he marshalled Porto's defence for 120 minutes to take the game to penalties, where David Raya grabbed the headlines with two saves – including the final penalty from Galeno — to send Arsenal through to the quarter-finals.

Sergio Conceicao's men now turn their attention to the Primeira Liga, where they are unbeaten in each of their last four matches, claiming three wins and one draw since a 3-2 defeat at Arouca on February 12.

This solid run has rekindled the Drageoes' slim title dreams as they currently sit third in the league table with 55 points from 24 matches, seven points behind first-placed Sporting Lisbon with nine fixtures left to go.

After back-to-back games on the road, Porto now return to the Estadio do Dragao, where they have won all but of their last 12 matches in all competitions, with a goalless draw against 10-man Rio Ave on February 3 being the exception.

Vizela's Milutin Osmajic celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 2, 2022© Reuters

The visitors picked up three huge points in their battle at the bottom end of the table as they fought back from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over Farense when the sides squared off last Saturday.

Vizela were staring down the barrel of yet another defeat after Ze Luis put Rio Ave in front with a 17th-minute strike, but Sava Petrov restored parity in the 71st minute before Alberto Soro completed the turnaround with five minutes left to play.

Prior to that, Ruben de la Barrera's side had failed to taste victory in 10 consecutive Primeira Liga home matches — picking up three draws and losing seven since September — a run which saw them plunge into the relegation zone.

The Vizelenses have now won four of their 25 Primeira Liga matches while losing 12 and claiming nine draws to collect 21 points and sit 17th in the table, two points above rock-bottom Chaves and two points off 15th-placed Portimonense just above the relegation zone.

While Vizela will look to pick up where they left off last weekend and secure back-to-back wins for the first time since last April, results against Porto offer little optimism as they have lost each of the last seven meetings between the sides, conceding 20 goals and scoring just three since December 2021.

Porto Primeira Liga form:

Porto form (all competitions):

Vizela Primeira Liga form:

Vizela form (all competitions):

Team News

Porto's Wendell celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on March 3, 2024© Reuters

Nigerian full-back Zaidu Sanusi suffered an ACL injury shortly after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations back in February and the 26-year-old is out of contention for Porto.

He is joined on the Dragoes' injury table by veteran defender Ivan Marcano, who has been ruled out since also sustaining an ACL injury in September's game against Estrela.

Argentine midfielder Alan Varela was forced off injured with an extra-time injury against Arsenal on Tuesday and the former Boca Juniors man is a major doubt for Saturday's game.

Should he fail to shake off the injury, Serbia international Marko Grujic will push for a starting role, forming the midfield pivot with former Barcelona man Nico Gonzalez.

Vizela remain without the services of Swiss goalkeeper Francesco Ruberto, who is set to sit out his fourth consecutive game after sustaining a muscle injury in the game against Benfica on February 18.

With his strike against Farense, Petrov now has two goals in six matches since his January move from Serbian outfit Radnicki and the 25-year-old could be rewarded with a place in the XI.

Porto possible starting lineup:
Costa; Mario, Pepe, Otavio, Wendell; Gonzalez, Grujic; Conceicao, Pepe, Galeno; Evanilson

Vizela possible starting lineup:
Buntic; Silva, Goncalves, Escoval, Pereira; Costa, Ortiz; Lokilo, Samu, Quina; Essende

SM words green background

We say: Porto 2-0 Vizela

Reeling from their midweek European disappointment, Porto will head into Saturday's game in search of a pick-me-up. Conceicao's men have been imperious in this fixture, and given the gulf in quality and experience between the two teams, we are backing them to claim a comfortable victory.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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5Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes34196952381463
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