Man, third decade of the new millennium is already nigh. How tempus fugit, as they say in Latin. Here's the current lay of the CL/EL land: Thanks to a run of relatively down years and falling behind both France and Russia in overall UEFA points, Portugal now has only one direct entry into the CL (Benfica this year) and one team that has to go thru the playoffs (Porto this year). Porto is currently in the process of that playoff, and shortly competes in a home and away against Krasnodar FC from Russia to see if they can make the final playoff for a spot in the main CL draw. Krasnodar is a tough place to play away due to remoteness, and the team has been on the rise in recent years, so it will be a challenging matchup, though a winnable one. In terms of the EL, there are three teams: Sporting is already in the main draw; Braga and Vitoria Guimaraes have to go through the playoffs. VG actually won their first tie (both legs) and now faces Ventspils (Latvia). Braga faces Brondby (Denmark), a much more challenging foe. This is the next to last round; after that both teams need to win one more tie to get to the group stage. Overall, Portugal lies about 2 points off Russia, and Russia already has one of their six teams eliminated so their denominator is going to suck for all year. Portugal has a legit chance to get all five teams into the group stage, which would be a great start because even 1 team sucking ass can really bring the average down. In terms of national pride or whatever it would be great to overtake Russia, but I'm still not sure Portugal has six teams that can realistically compete in Europe, so having five teams (2 CL/3 EL) seems about right.