Portugal will have five representatives in this season of UEFA Champions League and Europa League with their respective opponent known after the completion of the draws.
It is now time to look at the respective clubs, their opponents, and the likely outcome of the group.
After the emerging winner of the league in the last season, Benfica faces a difficult task of securing passage from Group G by facing RB Leipzig, Lyon, and Zenit St. Petersburg.
Their campaign starts at home to RB Leipzig on September 17 in a first-time meeting with the German side.
Next, the Portuguese champion makes a long trip to Russia to slug it out against Zenit St. Petersburg with the revenge on their mind for Champions League elimination in 2016.
On October 23, they will welcome the French side, Lyon side managed by Anthony Lopez. In the last meeting the sides in the group stages in 2010, they got 3 points from 6, losing 2-0 in France before winning 4-3 at the Luz.
Benfica Lisbon are available at 105.00 to win Champions League.
In the Europa League, Porto, Sporting Lisbon, Sporting Braga, and Vitória Guimares will be having some intense clashes over the next few months.
In Group D, Sporting Lisbon will battle Netherland’s PSV Eindhoven, Norwegian side, Rosenborg and LASK Linz of Austria.
Porto also has ties on their hands in a tricky looking Group G which has Young Boys, Feyenoord, and Rangers as their respective opponents.
On the other hand, the trip to Switzerland against BSC Young Boys, who lost out to Crvena Zvezda in Champions League qualification could be an opportunity to grab points against the rugged side.
FC Porto are priced at 1.95 to finish top of their group, while Sporting CP are backed at 2.30 advance to the competition.
Sporting Braga showed great determination again to send Spartak Moscow back to Russia to get to the group stages.
Ricardo Sá Pinto’s men are to play against Wolverhampton Wanderers who ended Torino’s European adventure; Beşiktaş, who knocked out the Portuguese side from the Europa League round of 16 in 2012 and Slovan Bratislava who eliminated PAOK to earn their place in the group.
Braga will have to prove their mettle to scale through with Wolves being labeled favorites. The team, no doubt, has a lot of work on their hands.
Sporting Braga are available at 4.25 to pull of a surprise and win the group, while Vitoria Guimaraes are priced at 11.25 to pull a shocker
Vitória de Guimarães will have to battle last season’s runners-up, Arsenal in group F, Arsenal, semi-finalist, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Standard Liege.
With their current form, they could pull up a surprise gaining confidence from eliminating Standard Liege from the UEFA Cup in 1995 under Vítor Oliveira’s short stint.
The other games against Eintracht and Arsenal games will be no doubt be very difficult, but football lovers should see a fantastic atmosphere as always in
Written by: OLADIPUPO MOJEED