FC Porto continue their push towards successfully defending their Primeira Liga crown when they visit relegation-threatened Nacional on Sunday evening (17:30 UK time).
The Dragons trail leaders Sporting by six points while their hosts are rock bottom of the championship but not too far away from safety.
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Scoreline prediction: Nacional 0-2 FC Porto
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Nacional vs FC Porto build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Despite losing their eighth successive Primeira Liga game last time out, Nacional can still escape relegation this season. Manuel Machado’s side are rock bottom but only four points from safety. Before this current stretch of disappointing losses, the Funchal-based club gained some momentum by collecting eight points from 12 available. This weekend at Estádio da Madeira, they’ll be looking to break a four-match losing run; across their last seven home games, Nacional have claimed just one win (2-1 v Famalicão) while picking up six defeats.
Things could not be more different regarding Porto who are pushing for a 30th league title. Sérgio Conceição’s men are on a five-game winning streak and unbeaten across their previous 20 league outings (15 wins and five draws). The defending champions find themselves one place and six points behind leaders Sporting with eight matches remaining this season. On the road lately, they’ve been looking strong. Porto have put together four consecutive wins coming into this weekend’s game and since a 3-2 loss at Paços de Ferreira in October, they’ve accumulated 26 points from a possible 30.
- Nacional (vs Santa Clara): Filipe; Kalindi, Pedrão, Correia, Kal; Borges; Camacho, Danilovic, Rouai, Thill; Róchez.
- FC Porto (vs Chelsea): Marchesín; Manafá, Pepe, Mbemba, Sanusi; Grujic, Uribe, Oliveira; Corona, Marega, Otávio.
Manuel Machado goes into this weekend’s game without Daniel Guimarães and Witi. As for Porto, they’re only missing reserve goalkeeper Diogo Costa and Iván Marcano (muscle).
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Player to watch: Mehdi Taremi (Porto)
After coming off the bench to net Porto’s winner against Chelsea (though nevertheless suffering Champions League elimination), Mehdi Taremi is pushing for a starting return this weekend. He’s been the Dragon’s most effective Primeira Liga performer, having bagged 10 goals and registered 10 assists to date.
Last time out against, Tondela the 28-year-old Iranian marksman ended a six-game scoring drought, although during that period he created no fewer than four goals. Taremi is also the club’s leading goalscorer away from home (seven goals).
Primeira Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Nacional: LLLLL
- FC Porto: WWWWW
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