The 20th round of Portuguese fixtures concludes today with the clash between Belenenses and Academica in a game without tomorrow for the hosts who need the win if they want to have any chance of survival…
Belenenses vs Academica.
Belenenses host Academica at the Restelo in a game which is like a Cup final for the hosts, as defeat would make life very tough if they want to survive in the league. They have now gone 17 games without a win with their most recent outing a 0-1 loss at the Da Luz. They stood their ground for the most part but couldn’t threaten in attack or respond to the goal scored by Cardoso. According to coach Toni, he believes the club can still survive. There is plenty of pressure on them today but many fans are expected to attend. Missing today are regular keeper Nelson (13 apps) and reserve choice Bruno Vale (6 apps), so third choice keeper Asis (21yo) is expected to play between the posts.
On the other hand, Academica come off a 1-1 home draw against Olhanense in a game where they got there equalizer with a dubious penalty but played the final 25 minutes with 10 men. The newcomers were much better but Academica showed signs of fatigue given the previous league Cup match with Porto. They have had problems in their away games with just 1 win in 9 games, while they are conceding an average of at least 2 goals in their matches away from Coimbra. Excluded today are midfielder Τιέρο (16 apps, 3 goals), forward Eder (13 apps, 1 goal), forward Fidalgo (9 apps, 3 goals). Leading scorer Sugu (18 apps, 7 goals) makes his return.
Selection: I have given Belenenses plenty of chances this season so may they well win with all our wishes but not at the expense of our pockets.