The Portuguese Primeira Liga returns with a fresh set of thrilling fixtures as high-flying Porto play host to Maritimo at the Estadio do Dragao on Sunday.
This will be the second meeting between the sides this season after the spoils were shared in an exciting 1-1 draw back in August’s reverse fixture.
Porto continued their charge for their 30th Primeira Liga title when they claimed a comfortable 3-1 victory over Famalica on home turf last Sunday.
In a game where Matheus Uribe saw red, Otavio, Luis Diaz and Mehdi Taremi all found the target to put the hosts in a commanding three-goal lead before Riccieli grabbed a consolation goal in the 91st minute.
Sergio Conceicao’s side have now won each of their last nine games across all competitions, including a 3-1 victory over Vizela on January 12 which saw them secure smooth passage to the semi-finals of the Taca de Portugal.
With 53 points from 19 games, Porto currently sit at the summit of the Primeira Liga standings with a healthy six-point cushion on reigning champions Sporting Lisbon who are currently in second place.
The Dragoes head into Wednesday’s game as the only unbeaten side in the league this season, and their fine campaign so far has been owing to the stellar job being done at both ends of the pitch.
Porto currently boast the second-best attacking record in the division with 51 goals scored, while they also hold the second-best record at the opposite end of the pitch with just 13 goals conceded.
In a game where both sides finished with 10 men, Safira made no mistake from 12 yards out as he converted his 13th-minute penalty before Matheus Costa scored on the stroke of half time to force a share of the spoils.
Prior to that, Vasco Seabra’s men were on a three-game winning streak, seeing off Vizela, Portimonense and Braga respectively, while scoring five goals and keeping two clean sheets.
Maritimo head into Sunday’s game unbeaten in all but one of their last eight games, — claiming five wins and two draws — with a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Benfica being the only exception.
While O Maior das Ilha will look to quickly return to winning ways, next up is an opposing side who are unbeaten in 15 of the last 20 meetings between the sides, claiming 11 wins and four draws.
Porto Primeira Liga form:
Porto form (all competitions):
Maritimo Primeira Liga form:
We say: Porto 2-0 Maritimo
Porto have simply been outstanding in the Primeira Liga this season and have sounded their name as genuine contenders for the title. Maritimo, meanwhile, appear to have found their groove after a slow start to the season, claiming four wins and one draw from their last six games. We expect a thrilling contest with the hosts coming away with all three points at the sound of the full-time whistle.