Preview: FC Porto vs. Boavista FC – prediction, team news, lineups

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Preview: FC Porto vs. Boavista FC – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Primeira Liga clash between Porto and Boavista, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sunday’s Primeira Liga clash at the Estadio do Dragao sees third-placed Porto host 14th-placed Boavista in a pivotal game for both sides in their respective quests for Europa League football and top-flight survival.

A third-placed finish for Porto in the Primeira Liga table would be their lowest since 2015-16, while a loss for the away side could allow relegation threatened Portimonense to draw level on points with Boavista, setting up a tense final matchday.

Match preview

© Reuters

While Porto’s league campaign might not seem disastrous, the maximum amount of points they can accumulate is 72 with just two games remaining and this would represent their lowest total since 2013-14.

Manager Sergio Conceicao‘s overall time at Porto can be considered extremely successful, as the former Dragons player is currently the second most successful coach in Portuguese football with 10 major trophies, only behind Jorge Jesus and his tally of 12.

Conceicao could add another piece of silverware to his impressive repertoire on May 26 when his side face Sporting Lisbon in the final of the Taca de Portugal.

However, considering that he will have his worst league season since taking over in 2017-18 in regard to both points and Primeira Liga table position, it would be understandable if the Portuguese was disappointed with his team’s campaign.

Porto are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions, winning three and drawing two including a 2-2 stalemate against champions Sporting Lisbon in late April.

Porto coach Sergio Conceicao reacts on February 21, 2024© Reuters

Despite this, the Dragons’ Primeira Liga form alone is not as strong, and while they did win their most recent fixture against Chaves, they have just two wins in their last six, as well as two draws and two defeats.

These dropped points could prove costly as Conceicao’s side are just one point ahead of Sporting Braga, and if they finish fourth then they would be placed in the Conference League qualifiers rather than the Europa League group stage.

Opponents Boavista will be encouraged knowing that their hosts have failed to win their last three home matches and have conceded six goals in the process.

The away side are 14th, just two places and three points ahead of 16th-placed Portimonense who occupy the league’s relegation playoff spot.

Boavista's Sebastian Perez, Salvador Agra and Rodrigo Abascal on January 19, 2024© Reuters

Though there are just two games remaining, a loss to Porto could be damaging to their pursuit of top-flight survival, and therefore manager Jorge Simao will hope to at least avoid defeat at the Estadio do Dragao.

Simao has only been in charge since mid-April following the sacking of Ricardo Paiva, who had himself taken over from Armando Goncalves Teixeira earlier this season.

Interestingly, this is Simao’s second spell in charge of Boavista after previously coaching them between 2017 and 2019.

The returning manager is yet to win any of his three games, drawing his first and third matches while losing to fifth-placed Vitoria de Guimaraes in his second.

Boavista will hope even if they lose this weekend that victory in their final game against last-placed Vizela in 18th will be enough to keep them in the division.

Porto Primeira Liga form:

Porto form (all competitions):

Boavista Primeira Liga form:

Team News

Pacos de Ferreira coach Jorge Simao pictured in August 2021© Reuters

Porto come into the game with both centre-back Ivan Marcano and left-back Zaidu Sanusi absent due to cruciate ligament injuries.

Right-back Joao Mario is also out of the game due to a muscle issue, but the Dragons can otherwise name a full squad.

Conceicao will hope to name a strong team on Sunday with the likes of striker and top scorer Evanilson expected to start up front, no doubt eager to add to his 13 league goals.

As for Boavista, left-back Augusto Dabo continues to be absent after he suffered a severe injury in July 2023.

Goalkeeper Morales Pires is also expected to miss out, while forward Robert Bozenik‘s inclusion is doubtful as he nurses a hamstring injury that has kept him out for the last two games.

Expect defender Chidozie Awaziem to come straight back into the side after missing his team’s draw against Gil Vicente due to suspension.

Porto possible starting lineup:
Trubin; Morato, A Silva, Otamendi, Aursnes; Luis, Mario; Di Maria, Kokcu, R Silva; Cabral

Boavista possible starting lineup:
Costa; Fernandes, Ze Pedro, Pepe, Wendell; Gonzalez, Varela; Conceicao, Pepe, Galeno; Evanilson

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We say: Porto 3-1 Boavista

Although Porto have had a disappointing league campaign, the Dragons will want to at least qualify for the Europa League and will therefore be keen to secure all three points this weekend.

Boavista will try to make things difficult for Conceicao’s side, but they could ultimately fall short due to the gap in quality between the respective squads.

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

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