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Wednesday, 16 October 2013 08:08

Opinion: Will It Be Fourth Successive Title for Porto?

Porto.gifThe Portuguese Primeira Liga is made up of 16 teams but is dominated by the “Tres Grandes” (Big Three) Porto, Benfica and Sporting. Although Benfica are the most successful club in Portugal’s football history, Porto have a stranglehold over the league. The club have won the past three titles and have won eight of the last ten. Betway Casino have them as favourites for glory this year, but the question is will Porto make it an impressive fourth consecutive title?



Their current form suggests that the club look likely to retain the Primeira Liga, winning six of their seven games and drawing once, carving out a two point lead at the top from second place Sporting, who they play in their next fixture on October 27. If Porto win this home fixture against Sporting they will open up a five point gap at the top. With a potential five point lead after eight games, Porto look well placed to retain their crown. The team is in a rich vein of form and are capable of furthering this impressive start to the season. Porto are the most consistent team in the league; in their last three title campaigns they have lost only once. 

With their solid start this season and their overall incredible record in the Primeira Liga, the Dragões look odds on to win the title.

Jackson Martínez the key

Last year Porto lost their talisman Hulk to Zenit Saint Petersburg for €40million. They used €11million of this to fund the move for Colombian forward Jackson Martínez. The new striker quickly filled the void left by the imposing Brazilian, finishing top-scorer in the league with 26 goals in 30 games and has already bagged seven goals in the current campaign.  South American football correspondent Tim Vickery describes Martínez as “an out-and-out goalscorer, a front-to-goal centre-forward who can finish off both feet”. The fact that Porto have a goal-scorer is vital; successful teams are usually centred on a free-scoring striker. If Martínez continues scoring goals then he will fire Porto to the title.

Porto are blessed with the strongest squad in the league despite the loss of exhilarating winger James Rodríguez and playmaker João Moutinho to Monaco. Their goalkeeper Helton is a brilliant shot stopper, and last season only conceded 14 goals in 30 games. They also have Belgian international Steven Defour in the heart of the midfield who breaks up the opposing play in a no nonsense manner.

They also have the veteran Lucho González in midfield. He is a potent goalscorer as well as a chance provider. Throw in the afore-mentioned Jackson Martínez and centre-back Nicolas Otamendi and Porto easily have the strongest playing side in the league.

Porto have all the right ingredients to win the league again. They have the best squad in the whole of Portugal that should easily steamroll the minnows in the league.  They also already have a lead over rivals Benfica, the only team with a squad capable of challenging the might of Porto. In short Porto will win the title!

Comments (5)
My thoughts
5 Thursday, 17 October 2013 22:21
NJ/USA/SLB
After almost a quarter of the campaign gone, Porto looks like the clear cut favorite. By all accounts they've had their hiccups, yet sit with a 2 point lead. They're integrating new players and continue to get production from old standbys.
Quite a bit of talk about the manager getting his feet under him, but he sits two points better than last season at this juncture. Not too bad, for an unknown, no matter what he accomplished at Pacos.

Benfica has had a rough start to the campaign, and frankly it hasn't sorted itself out yet. They sit three points worse than last season, but maybe more alarming, with eight less goals at the same juncture last season. The team "looks" deeper and better than last campaign. But injuries have already taken a toll, and JJ's substitution pattern seems to have left some important pieces with doubt.
There's still time, especially with the glut of games/tourney's that really stretch a team.

Sporting has been a huge surprise, and you have to wonder how far this start can take them.

Plenty of futebol left.
...
4 Thursday, 17 October 2013 11:35
forcaslb29
Typical english media article. I'm suprised that some of the champions league articles I've read this year still don't list saviola and aimar as our key players. Porto deserve to be favorites....but this was written by someone who's only looked at the table and doesn't watch the league
they are the best team in portugal (unfortunately)
3 Thursday, 17 October 2013 08:55
Alvaro Magalhaes / London - England
they will win again this season and next season and probably the season after that. not a fan of pinto da costa, but he knows how to run a world class football club.
Agree
2 Wednesday, 16 October 2013 19:27
Andre/UK
I agree with Chris here. Firstly, whose opinion is this? Yes Porto are looking like the favourites to win another title, they've started better than Benfica and of course SLB still have JJ in charge, to say the pressure is on for JJ this season is a massive under-statement!

However it's Benfica that has the strongest squad in Portugal (again) with the most depth. No question about it. We have only added to what was already a strong squad last year, and lost only Melgarejo. Benfica have the squad most able to deal with injuries and suspensions.

Porto have strengthened their depth compared to last year, but Moutinho and Rrrramis could prove to be big losses in the long run. Also if Porto were to lose Jackson or Fernando for a lengthy period, their influence would unlikely be replaced adequately.

Lastly Fonseca is a rookie at this kind of expectation, and hasn't won anything yet in his career, so let's see how he deals with the big expectations of that club. They are the favourites at this point, but it's way too soon to be a foregone conclusion as the article suggests...
Who's opinion?
1 Wednesday, 16 October 2013 16:40
Chris (Canada)
Tom, I get the need for opinion pieces but it would be nice to know who's opinion this is. I have a few qualms with article myself.

To say Porto have the best team in the league outright is a bit off the mark. We lost 2 vital players (Rrrrrramis & Moutinho) and while we have brought in very good replacements, they need time to improve their skills and chemistry must be re-built.

It's also important to point out that Benfica lost none of their players and actually added depth. Sporting is finally recognizing the talent within the squad while acquiring important new stars like Monteiro.

Also, where is the mention of Quintero? He is supposed to be the son of god, born of fire and brimstone (and he is actually very impressive from what I have seen so far). Finally.... Otamendi??? A team with defensive beasts like Fernando, Alex Sandro and Mangala.... and Otamendi is the standout? The guy is the glaring weakness in the back line and should already have lost his place to Maicon.

Dear opinion-person, you got it wrong on this one.

Cheers.

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