Matchday 12 in the Primeira Liga is upon us, with the closely-contested Portuguese top-flight campaign getting underway on Friday with Gil Vicente's 3:15 p.m. ET trip to Moreirense.
Of the nine fixtures set to take place in this round, six are scheduled for the weekend, with three being held on Saturday, including Benfica's upcoming trip to Belenenses. The remaining three will get underway on Sunday, with league leaders Porto set to take to the field on this day as the Dragons aim to break away from their fellow title rivals.
Two midweek games will also take place, with surprise European hopefuls Estoril taking on bottom-of-the-table Santa Clara while Sporting Braga, who look to climb up the table in their pursuit of continental football, will be in action on Tuesday. Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming round in the Primeira Liga.
Primeira Liga standings ahead of Matchday 12?
Top games to watch on Matchday 12 in the Primeira Liga
Belenenses vs Benfica: The Eagles have now moved within a point of league leaders Porto after losing only once in their last five league games. Jorge Jesus' side head into this tie on the back of their goalless Camp Nou draw, a game which saw the Portuguese giants squander a last-minute chance of beating Barcelona. However, this should not dampen their confidence. The opposition, meanwhile, sit in the relegation zone, but with 10th-placed Boavista being only three points ahead, the home side could soar up the table with a surprise victory over Benfica.
Sporting CP vs Tondela: Porto won't be the only title challenger facing a top 10 side as Sporting CP gear up to face ninth-placed Tondela on Sunday. The Lions are level on points with the current league leaders, only trailing them courtesy of an inferior goal difference. Given how neck-to-neck the title race has been so far, the defending champions will not want to drop points. Can they beat Tondela this weekend? The visitors have won five of their last seven games and should thus not be taken lightly.
Porto vs Vitória Guimarães: The Dragons must be wary of dropping points as any slip-up could see them fall to third in the league. Porto are on a six-game winning streak and are unbeaten in the league since October 2020. Their opposition, however, have won three out of their last five games and are thus no pushovers, hence why they sit in seventh. Do not miss this tie!
Who's in and who's out?
Here are the list of players ruled out for the upcoming round from the Primeira Liga's top clubs:
Benfica: Lucas Verissimo, Gil Dias, Diogo Goncalves, Nemanja Radonjic, and Rodrigo Pinho (injured); Paulo Bernardo (doubtful)
Porto: Ivan Marcano and Francisco Conceicao (injured); Pepe (doubtful)
Sporting CP: Jovane Cabral and Ruben Vinagre (injured)