The 2021-22 Primeira Liga season is set to begin this weekend, and fans will be eager to watch how Sporting tries to make it back-to-back titles after spending 19 years without winning the crown. Benfica and Porto, as always, will be their main rivals to the throne, but we should also keep in mind teams such as Sporting Braga and Famaliçao, who have been quite entertaining to watch in recent seasons.
Three teams were promoted for the 2021-22 season. Estoril and Vizela will join the league after finishing first and second in the Liga Portugal 2 last season. Added to them, Arouca will return to the Primeira Liga after beating Rio Ave in the promotion playoff. One of these teams will have the honor of playing against Sporting in the opening round, which should be quite interesting to watch.
How did the 2020-21 Primeira Liga season end?
As mentioned earlier, Sporting claimed the title after losing only one game last season. Porto joined them in the UEFA Champions League by finishing second, while Benfica will have to fight for their spot in the coveted competition in a preliminary round. Braga will enter the group stage of the UEFA Europa League and Paços de Ferreira and Santa Clara will be involved in the first edition of the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Top games to watch
Sporting vs Vizela - The defending champions will kick off the tournament by hosting one of the recently promoted sides. The team coached by Rubén Amorim will enter this clash in high spirits after winning the Taça de Portugal last Saturday against Braga with a 2-1 score. Meanwhile, Vizela will want to make their presence felt in the Portuguese top-flight despite some absences, including that of their new signing Igor Juliao, who is still in quarantine. The most recent games between these teams have taken place in the Taça de Portugal, and Sporting have won both of those games. Will we see them claim one more win here against the Primeira Liga minnows?
Moreirense vs Benfica - The Eagles return under Jorge Jesús, who will try to get the team back to winning ways after a disappointing return to the red and white side. Their debut game will be against Moreirense, a team that has only beaten the most-winning side in Primeira Liga history once in their last six meetings.
Porto vs Belenenses - The Dragons came close to shocking Sporting in the title race, but eventually fell short by five points. Sergio Conceicao will return with the team for one more season, and he will want to make it count from Day One when they face Belenenses, a team that has not been able to score against them in their past three meetings.
Primeira Liga - Who's in and who's out for Matchday 1
Benfica - Injured: Haris Seferovic.
Porto - Injured: Marko Grujic. Doubtful: Jesús Corona, Mateus Uribe.
Sporting - Injured: Pedro Porro. Doubtful: Nuno Mendes.
Primeira Liga - Matchday 1 fixtures