Good evening to all our BetHome.com readers. In Portugal we are in the 28th round of fixtures and most squads have distinct goals, with issues in the bottom, the 2nd and 5th place still being at stake. Yesterday, things went by normally with Porto going through Setubal with ease and with Benfica destroying Olhanence 4-0. Today we have 4 matches being played, so let's take a close look.
Leixoes vs Academica.
For the League Cup on 24/1: Leixoes – Academica 0-1.
Leixoes suffered an expected away defeat by Braga (3-1) but the good news is that no other team from the bottom won. So, they stand 4 points behind 14th Setubal and with a win today they reduce that distance to 1 point. Next week they face Olhanense away, where they can give their all to win and make it, and in the final round they host indifferent Sporting. Tucker (20caps) is out while Diego (23caps) returns.
Academica are in deep trouble, remaining away from a win for 7 matches now, so tonight's match is of utmost importance. Last week they went face to face against Benfica but unfortunately lost 3-2. Orlando (23/1), Cris (25/1) are out while Sougou (26/8) returns.
Selection: A match with no tomorrow for both teams and the stress is expected to play its part. I will go with the UNDER 2.5 goals.
Nacional vs Pacos Ferreira.
For the Cup on 20/1: Nacional – Pagos 1-2.
Nacional remain undefeated in their latest 3 matches and reduced the distance between them and Guimaraes to 1 point, entering the race to a European ticket until the end. Against Leiria they played very well and won fairly 2-0, in a very open match. Bracali deflected a penalty kick while the score was still 2-0. The board denied the rumours that Machado will be part of the past once the season is over. Gentil (4/0) is out and probably Salino (24/0) returns.
Pacos get further away from the race over a European seat, remainind for 4th game away from victory. After a bad performance and 2-0 defeat by Leixoes, another loss came in Naval with 3-1. Morais asked of his players to be serious until the end of the season, but they seem to be already planning their vacations. Ricardo (24/3) and Olimpio (26/1) return.
Selection: The islanders have a definite advantage playing in their strong home, being in a better shape and having the motive for 5th place, which is great. The HOME WIN (1) is having a drop in odds but i am willing to bet on it.
Naval vs Braga.
Naval have been indifferent for quite some time now, having as sole goal the Cup, but after they got kicked out by Chaves their plans were ruined. Last week they won against Pacos 1-3, which was good for the players' self esteem. Inácio asked of his players to play the same way in the remaining matches, for their season to close up in a positive note. Cruz (17/0) and Hauw (25/1) are doubtful.
Braga hold the -6 from Benfica and the +5 from Porto, but have started to raise questions over their last performances. Last week, after a long time, they played fairly well against Leixoes and took over with 3-1. In Naval, in 7 matches, they have not lost and today they will enjoy the support of many of their fans. Paciência will be able to use Viana (25/4) but not Leone (12/1), Vandinho (16/1) or Mossoró (21/0).
Selection: Inácio and his players, apart from dignity they will also play for Porto, who they share great relationships with. Braga have gotten just 1 win in their last 4 away games and that will have to stop at some point. I will risk it on the HOME WIN (1) and the DRAW (X) which both pay very well. 1X.
Uniao Leiria vs Sporting CP.
For the League Cup on 13/1: Leiria - Sporting 1-2.
Leiria took a step back in their battle over a European spot, after their loss by Nacional in the island with 2-0. Soares's missed penalty cost to the team and after that the loss came naturally. Vidigal mentioned after the game that his team should not give up from now on, beginning with tonigh'ts match. Keeper Anđelko Đuričić (23/0), Cássio (24/9) and Pateiro (24/1) return.
Sporting might have received a goal first in the previous home match against Setubal, but managed to turn the score around and win 2-1. The board of directors reached an agreement with Paulo Sérgio of Guimaraes, with Carvalhal being a part of the past after the season is over. Sporting are indifferent for quite some time now, they play freely and face no problems tonight.
Selection: With Leiria returns and the free game played by Sporting, it is probable that we will witness goals from both sides. GOAL/GOAL.