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Discussion in 'Portugal: Clubs' started by CDPontaDelgada, Jul 30, 2015.
Vitoria SC and Beleneneses play today
Looking foward to the games
30 Portuguese players in this years CL Group stages
Sporting off to Europa League also Belenenses play today against Altach
Belenenses have a 1-0 lead away and play in Belem tonight
Benfica in group with Atletico Madrid, Astana, and Galatasary
Porto is with Chelsea, Tel Aviv, Kiev
Sporting CP in group with Besiktas, Lokomotic Moskva, Skenderbeu
Braga in with Liberec, Groningen, and Marseille
Belenenses in with Basel, Poznan and Fiorentina
Well, it's happening, y'all. Yet another year of coefficient madness for Portugal. @CDPontaDelgada has already set it up so here's the breakdown:
Champions League: No easy groups, but these aren't groups of death either. Helps that Benfica and Porto are in pots 1 and 2 respectively. I know one thing based on observing Portuguese teams in Europe for some years now: at this stage it's useless to make predictions. Either team could top their group or get booted out of the CL, though I'd like to think neither will suck so badly they'll end up fourth after Maccabi Tel Aviv or Astana. The one thing for both teams is that there are some rough-ass trips abroad: Porto has to go to Israel and Ukraine while Benfica has to travel to Turkey and Kazakhstan (!!). Those will be tough places to get points.
Europa League: Those groups look tougher than the traditional EL group IMO. I think the expectation has to be that at least Sporting CP and Braga advance, and let's hope that Belenenses can at least grab some points or maybe squeak thru but Basel and Fiorentina are stout foes.
At present, Portugal is mired in 25th place overall but that's all but completely meaningless at this stage, and if you want any evidence consider this: Liechtenstein, while out of Europe entirely, is in first place overall. Things will change for us and other top countries as group stage play happens. It doesn't help much that Vitoria Guimaraes got a grand total of zero points; that will bring down our yearly average regardless, and the two teams hottest on our tail in the overall standings (France and Russia) both have all their teams qualified to the group stages. Ouch.
Speaking of the overalls, now that our annus mirabilis of 10/11 dropped out of the calculus, we're only a speck ahead of France (about a tenth of a point) and not much farther ahead of Russia (just under two points). We're going to have to actually outpace them both this year if we want to avoid falling behind them, and actually we need a several-point margin to make up for the fact that the year that will be dropping out of the calculus next year is one where we finished a few points ahead of each country.
Here are two things I'd like to see that I think could allow us to call 2015/16 a success: (1) we exceed the 10-point threshold overall (something we missed the past two years); and more importantly (2) we beat both France and Russia by at least two clear points (which will allow us to stay ahead of them next year as well). Tall orders but at this point anything's possible. Matchday one is 9/15. See you all there.
One more note: Sporting CP has a travel schedule that makes Porto's and Benfica's look easy by comparison. They have to travel to Turkey, Russia, and Albania. Yikes. If I had infinite time I'd be interested to see how the draw breaks down in terms of average travel distance for each team's away games. I'd be willing to wager Portugal's is higher than anyone's by a wide margin.
One game down, four to go, and it's a good start:
Benfica 2-0 Astana
Of course, this was the one that SLB pretty much had to get all points from if they want to do well in the group: At home against the lowest-ranked opponent of the four (though that status is not always relevant, anyone remember Porto's utter fiascoes against a team called Artmedia back around 2006?). And Atletico looked strong in thumping Galatasaray 2-0 in Turkey. But hey, three points is three points.
That one outcome gives us a meager-sounding 2.333 overall UEFA points but takes us to 20th in Europe (from 24th), to give a sense of how meaningless and prone to change the ordinal rankings are at this stage. Liechtenstein still #1 for what that's worth.
Against a better team Eliseu and Jardel will get so exposed.
Imbula and Corona on the bench, Andre Andre starting....wierd
Dynamo Kyiv 2-2 FC Porto
I'd have taken this result before the game, since DK have been playing very well lately and Porto seem overstretched and a bit vulnerable. But given that they were leading 2-1 until the 89th minute, letting full three points slip away seems disappointing. Still, this isn't a bad outcome given the geography of the group--seems like a race for second place between us and DK, so as long as we take care of business at home against them and then clean up against Maccabi Tel Aviv, we should be fine.
It moves the needle on the UEFA overall standings a very little, putting us in 19th on 2.5 points. We could use a big day from the Europa League teams tomorrow: Braga at Czech side Slovan Liberec; Sporting CP hosting Lokomotiv Moskva; and Os Belenenses at Polish side Lech Poznan. Hard to predict, but if we could get at least five points on the day that would be a good outcome--six or seven would be even better.
Nice start to the Europa League from Braga, nabbing all three points away to Slovan Liberec, 1-0. Let's hope Sporting and Belenenses can follow suit!
Europa league results
Slovan Liberec 0-1 Braga
Lech Poznan 0-0 Os Belenenses
Sporting CP 1-3 Lokomotiv Moskva
Great work by the away teams, shite from Sporting. We did all right on the week: 2-2-1. But compared to other top teams we didn't move as much upward, still 18th in the overall standings on 3 points. The loss to Lokomotiv was a real tit-punch as well because we need to keep pace with Russia in particular, not fall farther behind them by ceding max points when we're at home.
Whoa nice result from Porto, hanging on for 2-1 win at the Dragao against Chelsea.
Benfica's task will be more challenging: they face Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon. In the Europa League, Sporting seeks to rectify a putrescent start in Istanbul v Besitkas; SC Braga seeks to continue their outstanding start hosting Gronigen; and we'll see what Belenenses is made of when they take on Fiorentina at home in Lisbon.
A more challenging slate of games than last week's, I think, but Porto's given us a good start. Full points from the game means we grab .333 UEFA points overall and jump to 17th in the standings (which is still not a meaningful figure; we'll need a few more cycles to shake out the small nations who have racked up a lot of early points due to one team overperforming).
Benfica wins 2-1 vs Atletico, another hugely impressive win.
Word. Very impressive for Benfica to come from behind to beat Atletico in Madrid 2-1. Another .333 UEFA points moves us up the ladder to 15th in the standings on 3.666 points. A big day from the Europa League teams tomorrow could make an even bigger dent.
Decent results from the Europa League
Besitkas 1-1 Sporting CP
Os Belenenses 0-4 Fiorentina
SC Braga 1-0 FC Gronigen
That's an additional .5 UEFA points on the day, putting our yearly total at 4.166 and bumping us up to 11th overall. Still very noisy and too early for much of this to be meaningful, but let's not forget we were 18th overall when the week began. That's what three wins and a draw will do for you. It was a good week. If we keep it up, it could be a really good year.
Porto and Benfica looks to be in good positions to progress.
Sporting should've won today but the next two games against Albanian team should be wins, if so we should be able to progress, just have to beat Besiktas at home and we're capable of getting a result away at Lokomotiv even though we lost at home (that was an abnormal game).
Braga also in a good position, another win today. Hope they can keep it up, Belenenses will have a tougher time but still rooting for them.
Belenenses did well the score line was a little unjust as Belenenses had some very good chances
Braga got the win but Groningen were lucky as Braga are just finding their rhythm. Braga dominated from start to finish should of been 3-0 honestly
This formula would certainly work for Sporting, but they have to actually execute it. I think they can win the next three, but Skenderbeu hasn't looked terrible and I suspect Albania can be a challenging place to play. But despite their early stumbles, I think Sporting still has a good chance to go through, even if in second place. Getting two of the three EL teams into the next round would be a solid outcome.
Good week so far for our teams except for Benfica (and especially for Belenenses):
Porto 2-0 Maccabi
Galatasaray 2-1 Benfica
Sporting 5-1 Skenderbeu
Basel 1-2 Belenenses
Still to play:
Braga vs Marseille
So far so good: three wins out of four games:
Porto cruised past Tel Aviv at home, 2-0
Benfica lost a disappointing game away to Galatasaray, 1-2
Sporting got back on track, crushing Skenderbeu at home, 5-1
And Os Belenenses pulled the upset of the year so far, beating Basel away, 2-1
One more match on tap: Braga hosts Olympique Marseille
Sporting and Belenenses are now both third in their respective groups on four points, despite their wins. But their trendlines are good. Let's hope Braga can get full points and continue to top their group.
Actually Benfica beating Atletico in Madrid may have been the upset of the season (for Portugal, that is). Makes it all the more frustrating that they followed it up with the underwhelming loss to Galatasaray in Turkey.
Braga 2-0 against Marseille big points against rivals France
Groningen also down to 10 men against slovan
What a game Braga won 3-2
3 goals in 4 minutes
4 wins 1 loss, in which Benfica should of got a point. Braga 2-0 at '77 concedes two goals but gets the winner from Alan '88
If sporting get the win against Loko we will be in good shape we need to win against our nearest rivals which is France and Russia
The French are struggling Bordeaux just lost to qarabag and Braga won against Marseille and Marseille lost last to slovan