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Spanish and Portuguese league picks and analysis discussed here. Premier and 1.div.
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Old 29-07-11, 01:25   #1
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Default Liga Sagres 2011/12 Preview




Team by Team Previews:

I hope you enjoy my previews!

Last edited by gambler87; 01-09-11 at 03:25.
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Old 29-07-11, 01:28   #2
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Name: CD Feirense

Founded in: 1918

Based in: Santa Maria da Feira

Stadium: Marcolino de Castro (Capacity: 3302)

Kit: Adidas

Sponsors: Betclic, Vito, Aslo & U-Box

Website: http://www.cdfeirense.pt/

Budget: 2 million euro



President: Rodrigo Abelha

Coach: Quim Machado (since 2010/2011)

Last Season: 2nd in Liga Orangina (55 points: 17 wins, 4 draws & 9 losses)



Players joining: Edmar Figueira (striker, ex-Pune FC), Varela (defender, ex-Trofense), Rabiola (midfielder, ex-FC Porto), João Ricardo (midfielder, ex-Sp. Espinho), Diogo Rosado (midfielder, ex-Sporting), Hélder Castro (midfielder, ex-Cluj), Jeferson (defender, ex-Grêmio Anapolis), Jonathan (striker, ex-Lusitânia Lourosa), Cris (midfielder, ex-Asteras Tripolis), Miguel Pedro (striker, ex-Anorthosis), Hugo Costa (defender, ex-Varzim), Pedro Queirós (defender, ex-Paços Ferreira), William Alves (defender, ex-Rio Branco PR), Ivan (defender, ex-Olaria) & Douglas (goalkeeper, ex-Freamunde)



Players leaving: Hugo Vitor (defender, Anadia), Elvis (defender, Trofense), Marco Cadete (defender, Fátima), Marco Sousa (goalkeeper, Boavista), Diogo Fonseca (striker, Desp. Aves), Henrique (defender, Sp. Braga), Ricardo Machado (defender, Brasov), Joel Neves (defender, Sp. Covilhã), Pinheiro (midfielder, retired), Roberto (striker, no club) & Gonçalo Abreu (striker, Marítimo)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Marco Cadete (defender), Ricardo Machado (defender), Gonçalo Abreu (striker) & Roberto (striker)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-4-2

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Paulo Lopes; Pedro Queirós, Luciano, Jefferson, Serginho; Siaka Bamba, André Fontes, Ludovic, Cris; Rabiola, Carlos Fonseca



Pre-season matches:

13/07 Arouca 1-1 Feirense

16/07 Santa Clara 2-0 Feirense (neutral)

20/07 Leixões 1-0 Feirense

24/07 Marítimo 0-0 Feirense (neutral)

28/07 Feirense 0-2 Marítimo

30/07 Académica 4-2 Feirense

03/08 Feirense 0-0 Rio Ave

06/08 Tirsense 0-1 Feirense



Gambler87 insight: Feirense is coming back to the highest division of Portuguese football for the first time since 1989/90. They were capable of securing a promotion spot last year, however note that they lost 9 times in 30 games! Their team didn’t have a lot of quality last season, but they were extremely good in the clutch moments of the season by securing very important wins by one goal of difference. The main stat that proves that is their home record. They won 10 games, drew twice and lost three games at home. Their goal difference? 18 goals scored, 13 allowed. Very small differential for a 10-2-3 record! Feirense lost some key players in the off-season in both defense and offense. They will have to rebuild both defensive and offensive units and they are clearly struggling, as you can look by their poor off-season record in friendly games. They are still looking as a Liga Orangina team and they need desperately to get some additions to the team, especially in the offense. They are trying to get one or two strikers on loan from the Portuguese top teams, but a lot of teams are interested in the players that fit this criteria. In conclusion, either Feirense is capable of getting some important additions to the team very quickly or they will most likely get relegated and return to Liga Orangina next season.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Relegation Fight (13th – 16th)

Last edited by gambler87; 16-08-11 at 23:30.
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Old 29-07-11, 02:53   #3
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Name: Gil Vicente

Founded in: 1924

Based in: Barcelos

Stadium: Cidade de Barcelos (Capacity: 12084)

Kit: MadSport

Sponsors: Givec, Águas de Barcelos & Betclic

Website: http://www.gilvicentefc.pt/

Budget: 3,7 million euro



President: António Fiuza

Coach: Paulo Alves (since 2009/10)

Last Season: 1st in Liga Orangina (55 points: 15 wins, 10 draws & 5 losses)



Players joining: Luis Carlos (striker, ex-Santo André), Yero (striker, ex-FC Porto), Laionel (striker, ex-Grêmio Anapolis), Pedro Moreira (midfielder, ex-FC Porto), Ruca (midfielder, ex-Oliveira de Frades), Junior Caiçara (defender, ex-Santo André), Mauro (midfielder, ex-Grêmio Anapolis), Éder Sciola (defender, ex-Ituano), Adriano Facchini (goalkeeper, ex-União Madeira), Paulão (defender, ex-Grêmio Anapolis), Richard (midfielder, ex-Santo André) & Leandrinho Costa (striker, ex-Volta Redonda)



Players leaving: Duarte (striker, Varzim), Venu (midfielder, Santa Maria), Simão Coutinho (defender, Chaves), Filipe Fernandes (midfielder, Sp. Covilhã), Nuno Santos (goalkeeper, Sp. Covilhã), Rodrigo Galo (defender, Sp. Braga) & Zé Luis (striker, Sp. Braga)




2010/11 usual starters leaving: Rodrigo Galo (defender), Zé Luis (striker)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-3-3

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Adriano Facchini; Eder Sciola, Sandro, Cláudio, Júnior Carraça; Luis Manuel, João Vilela, André Cunha; Luis Carlos, Laionel, Hugo Vieira



Pre-season matches:

15/07 Moreirense 0-0 Gil Vicente (neutral)

20/07 Oliveirense 0-1 Gil Vicente

23/07 Sp. Covilhã 0-1 Gil Vicente

26/07 Gil Vicente 0-3 Sp. Braga

03/08 Varzim 0-0 Gil Vicente

06/08 Rio Ave 0-0 Gil Vicente



Gambler87's insight: Gil Vicente was finally able to return to the Portuguese first division, after being relegated thanks to the illegal inscription of a player back in 2006/07. They are one of the most traditional teams in the Portuguese league and they really seem to belong in the highest division of the Portuguese football. They won Liga Orangina last season with the same points of Feirense, however they seem to be more ready than Feirense to play in Liga Sagres this season. They kept almost their whole starting lineup from last season, however they lost their best scorer last season Zé Luis. The team has some quality, however besides Jorge Baptista, Luis Manuel, João Vilela and Laionel, nobody else has any kind of experience in the Portuguese main division, which will certainly be a problem, especially in the first rounds. I expect Gil Vicente to struggle a bit in the first rounds, but then step by step to improve as their players get some experience at this level. However, this team still needs additions, especially with some experience in the first division. I would say right now that even though there is some talent in the team, Gil Vicente will one of the teams who will fight to avoid relegation until the last rounds of the league.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Relegation Fight (13th – 16th)

Last edited by gambler87; 16-08-11 at 23:32.
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Old 29-07-11, 04:28   #4
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Old 29-07-11, 19:03   #5
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Name: Académica

Founded in: 1887

Based in: Coimbra

Stadium: Cidade de Coimbra (Capacity: 29622)

Kit: Lacatoni

Sponsors: EFAPEL, Dolce Vita, Betclic, Finibanco, Sagres & Herbali

Website: http://www.academica-oaf.pt/

Budget: 3,5 million euro



President: José Eduardo Simões

Coach: Pedro Emanuel (first season)

Last Season: 14th in Liga Sagres (30 points: 7 wins, 9 draws & 14 losses)



Players joining: Cedric (defender, ex-Sporting), João Real (defender, ex-Naval), Abdoulaye (defender, ex-Sp. Covilhã), João Dias (defender, ex-Trofense), Flávio Ferreira (midfielder, ex-Sp. Covilhã), Júlio César (midfielder, ex-Desp. Aves), Danilo (midfielder, ex-Macaé), Rui Miguel (striker, ex-Kilmarnock), Marinho (striker, ex-Naval) & Paulo Luís (striker, ex-Porto Alegre)



Players leaving: Pedrinho (defender, Loreint), Nuno Coelho (midfielder, Benfica), Sougou (striker, Cluj), Miguel Fidalgo (striker, Vit. Setúbal), Laionel (striker, Gil Vicente), Pedro Costa (defender, Arouca), Addy (defender, FC Porto), Junior Paraiba (midfielder, no club), Bischoff (striker, Dinamo Bucaresti), Amoreirinha (defender, no club), Luiz Nunes (defender, no club), Carreño (striker, Diósgyör) & Barroca (goalkeeper, Servette)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Pedrinho (defender), Nuno Coelho (midfielder), Miguel Fidalgo (striker) & Sougou (striker)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-3-3

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Peiser; Cedric, Berger, Abdoulaye, Hélder Cabral; Adrien, Pape Sow, Danilo; Eder, Sissoko, Diogo Valente



Pre-season matches:

16/07 Académica 2-0 Tourizense (neutral)

20/07 Académica 2-3 Arouca (netrual)

27/07 Beira Mar 0-3 Académica

30/07 Académica 4-2 Feirense

03/08 Académica 1-1 Beira Mar

05/08 Vit. Setúbal 1-0 Académica



Gambler87's insight: I am very curious to see Pedro Emanuel on his first season as a main coach of a team. He was an assistant of Villas Boas in FC Porto last season and now he has the chance of being the main coach of a Portuguese first division team. Académica was the last team to avoid relegation last season, but I think they will won’t suffer so much this season. Even though their saw four starters leaving the team, Académica was capable of replacing them well, especially in the defense and midfield. Young talented right-back Cedric is coming from Sporting to replace Pedrinho, while Adrien (who came from Sporting in the middle of the season) will replace Nuno Coelho with even more quality. The problem will mostly be in the offense, as young player Sissoko will have a tough task in replacing Sougou, while Eder is simply an average player and Fabio Luis is a question mark and nobody knows if he will be able to the team’s scorer like Miguel Fidalgo used to be last season. I expect Académica to be a decent defensive team, while struggling a bit in producing some offense, as they don’t have a proven good striker on the roster right now. I expect them to be slightly better this season than they were in the previous season and considering how some teams have seen their roster quality decreasing during the off-season, I expect Académica to have a relaxed season, avoiding relegation comfortably.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Middle Of The Pack (10th - 12th)

Last edited by gambler87; 16-08-11 at 23:33.
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Old 29-07-11, 19:57   #6
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Name: Beira-Mar

Founded in: 1922

Based in: Aveiro

Stadium: Municipal de Aveiro (Capacity: 30127)

Kit: Joma

Sponsors: Diatosta, Guialmi,Indasa & Betclic

Website: http://www.beiramar.pt/

Budget: 2 million euro



President: António Regala

Coach: Rui Bento (since March 2011)

Last Season: 13th in Liga Sagres (33 points: 7 wins, 12 draws & 11 losses)



Players joining: Jonas (goalkeeper, ex-Amora), Edson (defender, ex-Moreirense), Vasco Fernandes (defender, ex-Elche), João Pereira (defender, ex-Fátima), Joãozinho (defender, ex-Mafra), Koukou (midfielder, ex-Creteil), Alex (midfielder, ex-Naval), Nildo Petrolina (midfielder, ex-Trofense), Siaka Bamba (midfielder, ex-Feirense), Ricardo Dias (midfielder, ex-Santa Clara), Dudu (striker, ex-Corinthias Alagoano), Cristiano (striker, ex-Sporting), Serginho (striker, ex-Trofense), Dominic (striker, ex-New Jersey Rangers) & Zhang (striker, ex-União Leiria)



Players leaving: Bruno Conceição (goalkeeper, Arouca), Tinoco (defender, no club), Sérgio Oliveira (midfielder, no club), Alex Maranhão (midfielder, Gremio Barueri), Oblak (goalkeeper, no club), Rui Varela (striker, Belenenses), Renan (defender, Cluj), Wilson Eduardo (striker, Olhanense), João Luiz (midfielder, Maritimo), Djamal (midfielder, Sp. Braga), Leandro Tatu (striker, Steaua), Kanu (defender, St. Liege), Danilo (defender, Chaves), Hugo Seixas (striker, Monsanto), Ronny (striker, Cluj), Ruben Lima (defender, Hajduk Split), Wang Gang (striker, no club), Ricardo Rocha (defender, Sp. Covilhã) & Yartey (midfielder, Servette)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Renan (defender), Djamal (midfielder), João Luiz (midfielder), Leandro Tatu (striker) & Wilson Eduardo (striker)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-3-3

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Rui Rego; Pedro Moreira, Yohan Tavares, Hugo, Andre Marques; Jaime, Nildo Petrolina, Rui Sampaio; Artur, Zhang, Cristiano



Pre-season matches:

09/07 Beira-Mar 1-0 Brasov

13/07 Vit. Guimarães 3-1 Beira-Mar

16/07 Arouca 0-0 Beira-Mar

20/07 Santa Clara 0-1 Beira-Mar (neutral)

23/07 Naval 0-0 Beira-Mar

27/07 Beira-Mar 0-3 Académica

30/07 Beira-Mar 0-0 Celta Vigo (neutral)

03/08 Académica 1-1 Beira-Mar

06/08 U. Leiria 1-0 Beira-Mar



Gambler87's insight: Beira-Mar may be an interesting team this season. Their defense will be exactly the same that finished last season and note that they were the 9th best defense last season, with “just” 36 goals allowed in 30 matches. In the midfield, Djamal left to Sp. Braga, with Jaime being the more natural replacement. Also Nildo Petrolina is a slight improvement over João Luiz. The problem will be the offense. Both Leandro Tatu and Wilson Eduardo left the team during the off-season and they will be replaced by Cristiano (who showed literally nothing in Sporting last season) and Zhang (who showed very little in U. Leiria last season). This doesn’t look good, does it? Unless Beira-Mar still improves their offensive unit in the rest of the off-season, they will be a quite decent defensive team, but with a weak offense. However, they have a good enough team to avoid relegation, as there are teams clearly worse than them and so, I expect them to have a comfortable season, relatively away from the relegation zone.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Middle Of The Pack (10th - 12th)

Last edited by gambler87; 16-08-11 at 23:33.
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Old 29-07-11, 23:31   #7
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Tremendous work! Keep it up
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Old 29-07-11, 23:50   #8
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Name: V. Setúbal

Founded in: 1910

Based in: Setúbal

Stadium: Bonfim (Capacity: 18694)

Kit: Lacatoni

Sponsors: KIA, Betclic, Super Bock, Giovanni Galli & Perfitec

Website: http://www.vfc.pt

Budget: 1,3 million euro


President: Fernando Oliveira

Coach: Bruno Ribeiro (since March 2011)

Last Season: 12th in Liga Sagres (34 points: 8 wins, 10 draws & 12 losses)



Players joining: Thiago Veras (defender, ex-São Paulo), Igor (defender, ex-Trofense), Bruno Amaro (midfielder, ex-Nacional), Jorge Gonçalves (striker, ex-Olhanense), Rafael Lopes (striker, ex-Varzim), Zahavi (striker, ex-H. Akko), Miguel Fidalgo (striker, ex-Académica) & Gonçalo Graça (striker, ex-Varzim)



Players leaving: Collin (defender, Sporting KC), Silva (midfielder, no club), Sassá (striker, no club), Henrique (striker, no club), Jailson (striker, no club), Getulio Vargas (goalkeeper, no club), François (defender, Beijing Gouan),Regula (midfielder, Catania), Pimenta (striker, Oliveirense), Valdomiro (defender, Samsunspor), Zarabi (defender, no club), Djikiné (midfielder, no club), Brasão (striker, no club) & William (striker, V. Guimarães)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Valdomiro (defender) & Silva (midfielder)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-3-3

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Diego; Ney, Ricardo Silva, Anderson do Ó, Miguelito; Hugo Leal, Neca, Zé Pedro; Jorge Gonçalves, Miguel Fidalgo, Claudio Pitbull



Pre-season matches:

16/07 V. Setubal 2-1 Celta de Vigo

20/07 Sp. Covilhã 0-0 V. Setubal

27/07 V. Setubal 1-3 Atletico

30/07 Olhanense vs V. Setubal

05/08 V. Setubal vs Academica



Gambler87's insight: V. Setubal has everything to have their best season in a while. They only lost two starters from last season and they will be easily replaced. Valdomiro will be replaced by Anderson do Ó (the starting left back last season) in the centre back position, with Miguelito (who played as a left midfielder last season) returning to his natural position as left back. This internal changes will improve the team, as everybody will play at their natural positions, unlike last season. In the midfield, Silva will be replaced by Zé Pedro, who was already in the team last season and who started 10 games. Zé Pedro is a very experienced player in the first division and he is a player full of technical skills. He will surely replace Silva in the starting team very well. In the offense, Pitbull after being the team's striker last season will play in the left side of the attack, a position he knows very well. Zeca, who played in the right side of the attack last season, will be benched in favour of Jorge Gonçalves, a quite decent player with a lot of first division experience. As the team's striker, V. Setubal got Miguel Fidalgo from Academica, who scored 8 goals in the league last season and he will be a massive improvement for the V. Setubal offense, who struggled quite a bit last season. In conclusion, V. Setubal has maintained a lot of the structure from last season and improved it by adding some interesting and experienced players. This is a team with quality and experience, having all the conditions to have a season far away from the relegation zone. However, V. Setubal tends to struggle with financial problems every season and that eventually prejudices their results. Either way, I expect to see V. Setubal in the top of the 2nd half of the league table this season.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Middle Of The Pack (10th - 12th)
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Old 30-07-11, 00:54   #9
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Name: Olhanense

Founded in: 1912

Based in: Olhão

Stadium: José Arcanjo (Capacity: 11622)

Kit: Lacatoni

Sponsors: Dom Coletto, Martinez 1991, Betclic, Ria Shopping & SAG

Website: http://www.scolhanense.com/



Budget: 1,4 million euro

President: Isidoro Sousa

Coach: Daúto Faquirá (since 2010/2011)

Last Season: 11th in Liga Sagres (34 points: 7 wins, 13 draws & 10 losses)



Players joining: Fabiano Freitas (goalkeeper, ex-América RN), Figueroa (defender, ex-Union Espanhola), Vitor Vinha (defender, ex-Desp. Aves), Cauê (midfielder, ex-Leixões), Mateus (midfielder, no club), Salvador Agra (striker, ex-Varzim), Ivanildo (striker, ex-Portimonense), Wilson Eduardo (striker, ex-Beira-Mar) & Meza (striker, ex-Union San Felipe)



Players leaving: Moretto (goalkeeper, Arka Gdynia), Jardel (defender, Benfica) João Gonçalves (defender, Sporting), Carlos Fernandes (defender, Naval), Jorge Gonçalves (midfielder, V. Setubal), Paulo Sergio (striker, V. Guimaraes), Ricardo Baptista (goalkeeper, no club - doping suspension), Maynard (defender, Kecskemeti), Matias (striker, no club), Delson (midfielder, Naval), Lulinha (midfielder, Bahia), Adilson (striker, no club), Cadu (midfielder, no club), Anselmo (defender, no club), Paulo Renato (defense, Trofense), Carvajal (midfielder, O'Higgins), Suarez (defender, Cobreloa), Tiero (midfielder, Al-Qadisiya) & Oblak (goalkeeper, no club)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Moretto (goalkeeper), Carlos Fernandes (defender), Jardel (defender), João Gonçalves (defender), Paulo Sérgio (striker), Jorge Gonçalves (striker) & Djalmir (striker)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-2-3-1

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Bruno Verissimo; Figueroa, Mauricio, Andre Micael, Vitor Vinha; Cauê, Nuno Piloto; Ivanildo, Rui Duarte, Wilson Eduardo; Dady



Pre-season matches:

11/07 Olhanense 2-1 Crawley Town

20/07 Belenenses 1-0 Olhanense

23/07 Olhanense 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

30/07 Olhanense vs V. Setubal

31/07 U. Leiria vs Olhanense



Gambler87's insight: This is going to be a very long season for Olhanense. They have one of the lowest budgets in the league and they have the roster that they can have with such financial limitations. The result was the loss of 7 starters, two of them still in the middle of last season: Moretto and Jardel. Olhanense will have to rebuild their whole defense and if their defense was weak last season, it won't be better this season. First of all, the goalkeeper position is a huge liability. Moretto left the team and went to a Polish club. Then, his replacement Ricardo Baptista just got a two years doping suspension. This resulted in Bruno Verissimo, the team's 3rd goalkeeper at the beginning of last season, being promoted to the team's 1st goalkeeper this season. He is 35 years old, but has just played a total of 10 matches for a first division team and the result was a disaster: 18 goals allowed in 10 games! In the defense, Mauricio is the only remaining starter from last season. Vitor Vinha is coming from Desp. Aves to the left-back position, while Figueroa is coming from Chile to be the team's right back. He is a 12 times international for the Chilean national squad, so he is surely an interesting option for Olhanense's defense. André Micael, who was already in Olhanense at the end of last season but barely played, will be Mauricio's partner in the center of the defense. Cauê and Nuno Piloto will play in front of the defense, with Ivanildo, Rui Duarte and Wilson Eduardo making the connection to Dady, who scored just one goal last season for Olhanense. In fact, Olhanense had the least productive offense in the league last season, with just 24 goals scored in 30 games! Ivanildo and Wilson Eduardo are coming to the team in order to try to improve the team's offense, however they are average players who will give some speed to the team, but they aren't scorers. Bottom line: Olhanense will have tremendous problems this season from the goalkeeper position to the striker position. The team is weak, they have no real stars and most players are just average level, not even close to be able to solve matches in the first league. Olhanense avoided relegation last season, but this season it will be very hard for them to avoid getting back to Liga Orangina.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Relegation Fight (13th – 16th)
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Old 30-07-11, 03:14   #10
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Name: U. Leiria

Founded in: 1966

Based in: Marinha Grande

Stadium: Municipal da Marinha Grande (Capacity: 6000)

Kit: Joma

Sponsors: KIA, Betclic, Super Bock & Hoteis Cristal

Website: http://www.uniaodeleiria.pt

Budget: 4,5 million euro


President: João Bartolomeu

Coach: Pedro Caixinha (since 2010/2011)

Last Season: 10th in Liga Sagres (35 points: 9 wins, 8 draws & 13 losses)



Players joining: André Almeida (defender, ex-Belenenses), Ivo Pinto (defender, ex-Sp. Covilhã), Diego Gaucho (defender, ex-Brasov), Hugo Alcantara (defender, ex-Atletico PR), Edson (defender, ex-Figueirense), Erichot (defender, ex-Clemont), Manuel Curto (midfielder, ex-Naval), Elvis (midfielder, ex-At. Goianense), Tiago Terroso (midfielder, ex-Varzim), Djaniny (striker, ex-Desportivo Velense), Jô (striker, ex-Juventus Acre), Bruno Moraes (striker, ex-Naval), Luis Leal (striker, ex-Estoril) & Jorge Chula (striker, ex-VVV Venlo)



Players leaving: Djuricic (goalkeeper, no club), Hugo Gomes (defender, Foolad), Jose Antonio (defender, no club), Paulo Vinicius (defender, Sp. Braga), Silas (midfielder, AEL Limassol), Pateiro (midfielder, Rio Ave), Carlão (striker, Neuchatel Xamax), Panandetiguiri (defender, no club), Zhang (striker, Beira Mar), Mika (goalkeeper, Benfica), Zahovaiko (striker, Debreceni), Mamadou Tall (defender, Persepolis), Rodrigo Silva (striker, Estoril), Renato Saldanha (defender, no club), Bruno Miguel (defender, Astra Ploiesti), Leandro Lima (midfielder, Avai), Iturra (midfielder, no club), Fabricio (striker, Estoril) & João Silva (striker, no club)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Hugo Gomes (defender), Paulo Vinicius (defender), José Antonio (defender), Pateiro (midfielder), Leandro Lima (midfielder) & Carlão (striker)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-4-2

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Gottardi; André Almeida, Edson, Hugo Alcantara, Patrick; Manuel Curto, Marcos Paulo, Tiago Terroso, Cacá; N'Gal, Luis Leal



Pre-season matches:

14/07 Belenenses 0-0 U. Leiria

20/07 Naval 0-1 U. Leiria (neutral)

23/07 O. Hospital 1-8 U. Leiria

27/07 Oliveirense 2-0 U. Leiria

31/07 U. Leiria vs Olhanense

03/08 Estoril vs U. Leiria

06/08 U. Leiria vs Beira-Mar

08/08 U. Leiria vs Tourizense



Gambler87's insight: A huge fight between U. Leiria and the city Mayor forced Leiria to relocate to Marinha Grande, 12km away from the city of Leiria. Basically, Leiria will play 15 games on the road and 15 games on a neutral venue this season. If you add this fact to the lack of experience of the coach and most players at this level, the big changes in the roster and the lack of crowd support, you have the perfect storm for a disaster. The team was known last season for being a decent defensive team, but with Hugo Gomes leaving to join an Iranian team, Paulo Vinicius moving to Sp. Braga and Jose Antonio also leaving, U. Leiria lost three of the four starters from last season's defense and they are replacing them with a talented but very young André Almeida (right-back, replacing Hugo Gomes) and with Hugo Alcantara (decent centre-back, with a lot of Portuguese first league experience) and Edson (weak centre-back, surely a downgrade from last season) replacing Paulo Vinicius and Jose Antonio in the centre-backs position. In the midfield, Manuel Curto will play in the front of the defense, benching Paulo Sergio in the process, while Marcos Paulo and Tiago Terroso will set up the transitions between defense and offense. Cacá (who surely didn't impress at all last season) will be the most advanced midfielder and he will have the task of serving N'Gal (just 2 goals last season) and Luis Leal (lower league scorer, with no experience in first division) in the front of the field. Last season, U. Leiria had a decent defense and a horrible offense. This season, the offense continues to be very weak, while the defense has gotten poorer. If we add the fact that they have lost their home factor completely and that the roster is young and lacking quality options, U. Leiria will have a very tough season ahead. The fight to avoid relegation will be very tough for them and they will be in the mix for the last places of the league until the last rounds.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Relegation Fight (13th ***8211; 16th)

Last edited by gambler87; 30-07-11 at 15:38.
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Old 30-07-11, 15:38   #11
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Name: Maritimo

Founded in: 1910

Based in: Funchal, Madeira Island

Stadium: Barreiros (Capacity: 10000)

Kit: Lacatoni

Sponsors: Banif, Coral, Grupo Sá & Turismo Madeira

Website: http://www.csmaritimo.pt

Budget: 6 million euro


President: Carlos Pereira

Coach: Pedro Martins (since 2010/2011)

Last Season: 9th in Liga Sagres (35 points: 9 wins, 8 draws & 13 losses)



Players joining: Ricardo (goalkeeper, ex-Varzim), Salin (goalkeeper, ex-Naval), Oguchi (defender, ex-Dolphins), André Vilas Boas (midfielder, ex-Portimonense), João Luiz (midfielder, ex-Beira-Mar), Olberdam (midfielder, ex-Rapid Bucaresti), Domeneghini (midfielder, ex-Union Espanhola), Gonçalo Abreu (midfielder, ex-Feirense), Ekele (striker, ex-BEC), Adilson (striker, ex-Olhanense), Pouga (striker, ex-Vaslui) & Obayomi (striker, ex-Dolphins)



Players leaving: Marcelo Boeck (goalkeeper, Sporting), Ricardo Esteves (defender, no club), Alonso (defender, no club), Tchó (midfielder, no club), Djalma (striker, FC Porto), Fidelis (striker, no club), Marafona (goalkeeper, Desp. Aves), Luciano Amaral (midfielder, Nacional), Cherrad (striker, no club), Kanu (striker, Al Ittihad Kalba), Dylan (midfielder, no club), Mantzios (striker, no club), Kleber (striker, FC Porto), Sidnei (midfielder, no club) & Edinho (striker, Malaga)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Marcelo Boeck (goalkeeper), Ricardo Esteves (defender), Alonso (defender), Luciano Amaral (midfielder), Djalma (striker) & Kleber (striker)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-2-3-1

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Peçanha; Briguel, Robson, Roberge, Ruben Ferreira; Rafael Miranda, Roberto Sousa; Heldon, Benachour, Baba; Pouga



Pre-season matches:

23/07 Leixões 1-2 Maritimo

24/07 Maritimo 0-0 Feirense (neutral)

26/07 Maritimo 0-0 Rio Ave

28/07 Feirense 0-2 Maritimo

30/07 Paços Ferreira vs Maritimo

31/07 V. Guimarães vs Maritimo



Gambler87's insight: Maritimo suffered a cut on the budget for this season and lost some important players (especially the goalkeeper Marcelo Boeck and the strikers Djalma and Kleber to Sporting and FC Porto respectively), however this team has still enough quality to have a decent season. Last year's 2nd goalkeeper Peçanha will replace Boeck in the lineup and he should do fine, as he was the team's first goalkeeper two years ago and has a lot of first league experience. Veteran Briguel and 21 years old Ruben Ferreira are replacing Ricardo Esteves and Alonso in the right-back and left-back positions, respectively. Briguel is the team's most experienced player and he should replace Ricardo Esteves well, while Ruben Ferreira has never played in the first division and he may struggle a bit. The midfield is the team's strongest position, with Rafael Miranda and Roberto Sousa forming once again a very solid duo in the defensive midfield. Benachour and Baba are returning to be part of the offensive midfield, with Heldon being promoted to the starting lineup to replace the departed Djalma, in a clear decrease of quality. In the front, Pouga was brought to replace Kleber and he has had some success in Leixões two years ago, when Leixões was still in the first division, however Kleber will be extremely tough to replace, considering his scoring skills. At first sight, it may look that Maritimo would be headed to a poor season, however with their quality midfield and still very decent defense, Maritimo will very likely still outperform most of the teams in the first division this season. I believe the X factor for them will be the offense. If Pouga is capable of minimally replacing a star player like Kleber, then Maritimo has a good shot to reach an European position. However, if they struggle offensively, they will have to settle for a respectable position in the middle of the league table.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: On The Verge Of Europe (6th – 9th)
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Old 30-07-11, 16:36   #12
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Name: Rio Ave

Founded in: 1939

Based in: Vila do Conde

Stadium: Rio Ave FC (Capacity: 10660)

Kit: Lacatoni

Sponsors: Nassica, ASC & Betclic

Website: http://www.rioave-fc.pt/

Budget: 4 million euro



President: António Campos

Coach: Carlos Brito (since January 2009)

Last Season: 8th in Liga Sagres (38 points: 10 wins, 8 draws & 12 losses)



Players joining: Huanderson (goalkeeper, ex-Goianésia), Tiago Costa (defender, ex-Estoril), Marcelo (defender, ex-Riberão), Rafinha (midfielder, ex-Chaves), Ricardo Pateiro (striker, ex-U. Leiria), Gilmar (striker, ex-Riberão), Jorginho (striker, ex-Gaziantepspor), Dinei (striker, ex-CRAC) & Feliz (striker, ex-Ribeirão)



Players leaving: Mário Felgueiras (goalkeeper, Brasov), Ricardo Chaves (midfielder, ex-Desp. Aves), Milhazes (defender, no club), Bruno Gama (striker, Deportivo), Felipe Alberto (striker, Freamunde), Fabio Felicio (midfielder, no club), Trigueira (goalkeeper, no club), Sidnei (striker, ENP), Lionn (defender, Cluj) & Julio Alves (midfielder, At. Madrid)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Bruno Gama (striker)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-2-3-1

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Paulo Santos; Zé Gomes, Gaspar, Jefferson, Tiago Pinto; Wires, Bruno China; Pateiro, Jorginho, Yazalde; João Tomás



Pre-season matches:

13/07 Desp. Aves 2-0 Rio Ave

15/07 V. Guimaraes 0-1 Rio Ave

21/07 Rio Ave 1-3 FC Porto

23/07 Penafiel 2-0 Rio Ave

26/07 Maritimo 0-0 Rio Ave (neutral)

27/07 Saint-Etienne 1-1 Rio Ave

03/08 Feirense vs Rio Ave

06/08 Rio Ave vs Gil Vicente

17/08 Limianos vs Rio Ave



Gambler87's insight: Rio Ave was one of the most solid teams last season and they will continue being exactly that this season. Carlos Brito is a very good coach and he knows the organization like nobody, being already on his third long stint in coaching this team. The defense was one of the best last season (6th, with 33 goals allowed in 30 games) and the goalkeeper and the four starting defenders are returning this season. Wires and Bruno China will also return as the defensive midfielders, while Tarantini will be benched in favour of Jorginho, a very good and experienced midfielder, who was once a quite influential player in FC Porto. Yazalde is returning to play in the left side of the offense, while Pateiro was brought from U. Leiria to play on the right side of the offense, in order to replace the very talented Bruno Gama, who has just joined At. Madrid. In the front, veteran striker João Tomás may be 36 years old, but the 16 goals scored last season show how he is still one of the best strikers in the League. Rio Ave is maintaining the huge majority of their team from last season and this will allow them to have another very good season. Their defense is one of the best in the league and the offense is full of experience and talent as well, even though they lost Bruno Gama, who was a key player last season. I believe they will be in the first half of the league table the whole season, fighting for an European place next season. They may be fall a bit short on that goal, but they will surely have a quite good placing in the league at the end.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: On The Verge Of Europe (6th – 9th)
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Old 30-07-11, 21:13   #13
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Name: Paços Ferreira

Founded in: 1950

Based in: Paços Ferreira

Stadium: Mata Real (Capacity: 5172)

Kit: Lacatoni

Sponsors: Capital do Movel, Betclic, JCA & Radelfe

Website: http://www.fcpf.pt/

Budget: 2,5 million euro



President: Carlos Barbosa

Coach: Rui Vitória (since 2010/2011)

Last Season: 7th in Liga Sagres (41 points: 10 wins, 11 draws & 9 losses)



Players joining: Pedro Guedes (goalkeeper, ex-Benfica), Marcelo Tchê (defender, ex-Santa Helena), Reinaldo Lobo (defender, ex-Ituana), Eridson (defender, ex-Tourizense), Diogo Figueiras (defender, ex-Pinhalnovense), Bacar (defender, ex-FC Porto), Vitor (midfielder, ex-Penafiel), Luisinho (midfielder, ex-Aves), Josué (midfielder, ex-VVV Venlo), Luiz Carlos (midfielder, ex-Freamunde), Melgarejo (striker, Independiente GC), Michel Lugo (striker, ex-E. Bento Gonçalves), Sassá (striker, ex-Ipatinga), Santiago Silva (striker, ex-Padroense), Cicero (striker, ex-Rio Ave) & Michel (striker, ex-Penafiel)



Players leaving: Samuel (defender, no club), Bura (defender, no club), Jorginho (defender, Arouca), David Simão (midfielder, Benfica), Baiano (defender, Sp. Braga), Leonel Olimpio (midfielder, V. Guimaraes), Mario Rondon (striker, Nacional), Pedro Queiros (defender, Feirense), Coelho (goalkeeper, Belenenses), Paulo Sousa (midfielder, no club), Carlitos (striker, no club), Lucas Espindola (striker, no club), Pizzi (striker, Sp. Braga), Bruno di Paula (midfielder, Estoril), Nelson Oliveira (striker, Benfica), Amond (striker, Sheffield Wednesday), Maykon (defender, no club), Romeu Torres (striker, Arouca) & Alvarinho (striker, Fátima)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Baiano (defender), Maykon (defender), Leonel Olimpio (midfielder), David Simão (midfielder), Pizzi (striker) & Mario Rondon (striker)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-3-3

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Cássio; Diogo Figueiras, Ozeia, Reinaldo Lobo, Nuno Santos; André Leão, Luisinho, Josué; Manuel José, Michel, Melgarejo



Pre-season matches:

14/07 Seia 0-8 Paços Ferreira

23/07 Moreirense 2-0 Paços Ferreira

27/07 Penafiel 1-2 Paços Ferreira

30/07 Paços Ferreira vs Maritimo

03/08 Olhanense vs Paços Ferreira

05/08 Paços Ferreira vs Sporting Gijon



Gambler87's insight: Paços Ferreira was a very interesting team to follow last year, as they surprised a lot of people with good results and always showing a high level of offensive football, without showing any fear while facing top teams. Obviously the consequence of such success was that some key players left for better teams and now Paços Ferreira will have to rebuild half of their team for this season. But I'm confident they will do it quite well. They have an excellent coach, who was harassed to coach some top teams this season, but he ended up staying. The attractive football that Paços Ferreira has always showed last season had a high price to pay in their defense and they allowed 42 goals in 30 games, the 4th worst defense of the league. During this off-season, Maykon and Baiano left and so, Paços Ferreira will have to adapt midfielder Nuno Santos to the right-back position, while 20 years old Diogo Figueiras will directly come from a third division team to play in the starting lineup of a good first division team in the left-back position! Reinaldo Lobo was brought from Brazil to play in the centre-back, benching Javier Cohene in the process. Looking at this, Paços Ferreira will struggle on defense again. In the midfield, things get much better. André Leão is returning as the defensive midfielder of the team. With Leonel Olimpio and David Simão leaving, Paços Ferreira brought Luisinho from second division team Desp. Aves and Josué from VVV Venlo, who had previously played for Penafiel and was formed as a player in FC Porto, to replace them. These three players have decent quality and they should not cause problems to the team. In the offense, Manuel José is returning to the right side of the offense, while Melgarejo was brought from Paraguay to play in the left side of the offense. In the striker position, Michel was brought from Penafiel, where he proved himself as a scorer, with 13, 12 and 10 goals scored in the last three seasons. The team may be lacking individual quality, but with Rui Vitoria as the team's coach, I believe they will form a very strong collective. While most people expect them to be in a much lower position in the league this year in comparison with last season, I expect them to repeat the surprise and be in the first half of the league once again. Their defense may be weak, but most teams have quite weak offenses and they won't be able to take advantage of their defensive struggles anyway.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: On The Verge Of Europe (6th – 9th)
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Old 30-07-11, 22:50   #14
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Name: Nacional

Founded in: 1910

Based in: Funchal, Madeira Island

Stadium: Madeira (Capacity: 5132)

Kit: Joma

Sponsors: Banif, Betclic, Concreto Plano, Cerveja Coral & Dupla D

Website: http://www.cdnacional.pt/

Budget: 5 million euro



President: Rui Alves

Coach: Ivo Vieira (since March 2011)

Last Season: 6th in Liga Sagres (42 points: 11 wins, 9 draws & 10 losses)



Players joining: Zuba (goalkeeper, ex-Santa Cruz), Marcelo Valverde (goalkeeper, ex-Angra dos Reis), Neto (defender, ex-Varzim), Juliano (midfielder, ex-Narjan), Elizeu (midfielder, ex-Palmeiras B), Amar (midfielder, ex-Camacha), Candeias (striker, ex-Portimonense), Douglas Pará (striker, ex-Angra dos Reis), André Recife (striker, ex-Serrano) & Mario Rondon (striker, ex-Paços Ferreira)



Players leaving: Bracalli (goalkeeper, FC Porto), Patacas (defender, no club), Bruno Amaro (midfielder, V. Setubal), Thiago Gentil (midfielder, ex-U. Leiria), Pedro Oldoni (striker, no club), Orlando Sá (striker, no club), Juninho (midfielder, ex-Daegu), Pecnik (midfielder, Krylva Sovetov), Alex Bruno (defender, Sport), Ricardo Fernandes (midfielder, Camacha) & Darko Bodul (striker, Strum Graz)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Bracalli (goalkeeper) & Bruno Amaro (midfielder)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-3-3

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Elisson; Claudemir, Felipe Lopes, Danielson, Nuno Pinto; Luis Alberto, Mihelic, Skolnik; Diego Barcellos, Mario Rondon, Edgar Costa



Pre-season matches:

No pre-season matches played. They used their Europa League qualifying matches to prepare the new season



Gambler87's insight: Nacional is a team who is almost always in the first half of the league table and I expect that to happen this season once again. They maintain basically the same structure from last season, with the exception of the goalkeeper Bracalli, who went to FC Porto. His backup last season Elisson will be the team's starting goalkeeper, which is a clear downgrade, considering the excellent level of Bracalli and the inconsistency of Elisson, sometimes prone to make some critical errors that result in goals. Their defense is exactly the same from last season and considering they were the 2nd best defense last season (31 goals allowed in 30 games - same as Benfica and Sporting), they should once again be a top defensive team, even with the downgrade of quality in the goalkeeping position. In the midfield, Bruno Amaro left, but Mihelic, who already started some games for Nacional last season will be a fine replacement to help Luis Alberto and Skolnik in forming a very solid midfield. Edgar Costa and Diego Barcellos are returning this season to serve a new striker in the offense, Mario Rondon, who Nacional got from Paços Ferreira. Rondon is a good striker, better than Mateus, who will be benched this season, having scored 9 goals last season. The team's structure is basically the same and so, I expect them to have another fine season. They started the preparation for the new season much earlier than the other teams and so, they will have an edge in the start of the season, but they are also likely to struggle in the final rounds of the league for being involved in such a long season. Either way, I expect Nacional to be a good team in both defense and offense, fighting for an European spot next season, as they have in the previous seasons.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: On The Verge Of Europe (6th – 9th)
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Old 31-07-11, 00:06   #15
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awesome work mate! you are always helpful

to be honest i think Oporto is not gonna be as good as it was last season, benfica's new players imo, are much better than porto's new brazilians, plus no villas-boas anymore.
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Old 31-07-11, 02:14   #16
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Name: V. Guimarães

Founded in: 1922

Based in: Guimarães

Stadium: D. Afonso Henriques (Capacity: 30000)

Kit: Lacatoni

Sponsors: Guimarães 2012, Betclic, Super Bock, JOM & Tenco

Website: http://www.vitoriasc.pt/

Budget: 9,1 million euro



President: Emilio Macedo

Coach: Manuel Machado (since 2010/2011)

Last Season: 5th in Liga Sagres (43 points: 12 wins, 7 draws & 11 losses)



Players joining: El Adoua (defender, ex-Al-Qadisiya), Defendi (defender, ex-Paraná), Dinis (midfielder, ex-Deportivo B), Leonel Olimpio (defender, ex-Paços Ferreira), Pedro Mendes (midfielder, ex-Sporting), Jean Barrientos (midfielder, ex-Racing), Saucedo (striker, ex-Oriente Petrolero), Paulo Sérgio (striker, ex-Olhanense) & William (striker, ex-V. Setubal)



Players leaving: Valdomiro (defender, Samsunspor), Flavio Meireles (midfielder, retired), Pereirinha (midfielder, Sporting), Custodio (midfielder, Sp. Braga), Ricardo (defender, Shandong Luneng), Cleber (midfielder, Cartagena), Douglas (striker, Sp. Braga), Jorge Ribeiro (midfielder, no club), João Ribeiro (midfielder, Orduspor), Edson Sitta (midfielder, no club), Tomané (striker, Limianos), João Pedro (midfielder, Palermo), Kamani Hill (striker, no club), Rafael (striker, Portimonense) & Crivellaro (midfielder, no club)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Ricardo (defender), Cleber (midfielder), Edson Sitta (midfielder) & João Ribeiro (midfielder)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-2-3-1

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Nilson; Alex, El Adoua, João Paulo, Anderson; Pedro Mendes, Leonel Olimpio; Faouzi, Rui Miguel, Paulo Sérgio; Edgar



Pre-season matches:

06/07 V. Guimarães 4-0 Brasov

09/07 V. Guimarães 3-0 Penafiel

13/07 V. Guimarães 4-1 Beira-Mar

15/07 V. Guimarães 0-1 Rio Ave

20/07 Desp. Aves 1-0 V. Guimarães

23/07 V. Guimarães 1-1 Académica (neutral)

24/07 Santa Clara 3-0 V. Guimarães

31/07 V. Guimarães vs Maritimo

10/08 Tondela vs V. Guimarães



Gambler87's insight: V. Guimarães will enter this season with a lot of motivation. After watching the success of their regional main rivals Sp. Braga, V. Guimaraes wants to be able to go head to head with last year's Europa League losing finalist this season. For that, V. Guimarães decided to maintain the majority of last year's structure and just try to add new pieces to improve their offense, which was just average last season. The defense saw Ricardo leaving, with El Adoua, an international player from Morocco coming to replace him. The rest of the defense will be composed by players who were already playing for the team last season. I expect the team to be once again quite decent defensively, with the goalkeeper Nilson being once again one of the best in the league at his position. The midfield has been completely renewed and they are surely improved. Pedro Mendes, a 12 times international player for Portugal, is coming back to his former club, with Leonel Olimpio, who was very solid while playing for Paços Ferreira being his partner in the defensive midfield. These two players are surely a huge improvement over Cleber and Edson Sitta,who left the club during this off-season. Rui Miguel will play in front of these two players and I expect him to be quite decent once again, entering his 3rd season with this team. Faouzi will play on the right side of the offense, just like last season, while Paulo Sergio is coming from Olhanense to play on the left side of the attack. He had a very good season last year, being one of the key reasons why Olhanense had such a great league for their standards, so he should help his new team a lot as well. In the front of the offense, the team will have once again Edgar, who had a fine season last year, with 10 goals scored. He is quite experienced already in the league and he should at least repeat his production from last season. On the bench, V. Guimaraes will have a lot of depth, with good players like Tony, Bruno Teles, João Alves and Targino really to shake up things when the starting lineup struggles in solving the game on their own. This is surely an improved version of an already good team last season and I see them as the main contenders for the 4th position this season. They have everything to have their best season in a while, let's hope for their sake they can prove that on the field.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Ticket to Europe (4th - 5th)
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Old 31-07-11, 19:12   #17
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Name: Sp. Braga

Founded in: 1921

Based in: Braga

Stadium: AXA (Capacity: 30286)

Kit: Lacatoni

Sponsors: AXA, 2045, Betclic, PRÉBUILD & Valores

Website: http://www.scbraga.pt

Budget: 17 million euro



President: António Salvador

Coach: Leonardo Jardim (first season)

Last Season: 4th in Liga Sagres (46 points: 13 wins, 7 draws & 10 losses)



Players joining: Berni (goalkeeper, ex-Lazio), Baiano (defender, ex-Paços Ferreira), Rodrigo Galo (defender, ex-Gil Vicente), Nuno André Coelho (defender, ex-Sporting), Henrique (defender, ex-Feirense), Ewerton (defender, ex-Corinthians Alagoano), Paulo Vinicius (defender, ex-U. Leiria), Imorou (ex-Chateauroux), Djamal (midfielder, ex-Beira-Mar), Pizzi (striker, ex-Paços Ferreira), Douglas (striker, ex-V. Guimarães), José Luís (striker, ex-Gil Vicente) & Nuno Gomes (striker, ex-Benfica)



Players leaving: Artur (goalkeeper, Benfica), Miguel Garcia (defender, Orduspor), Rodriguez (defender, Sporting), Vandinho (midfielder, no club), Matheus (striker, Dnipro), Luis Aguiar (midfielder, Sporting), Elton (striker, Vasco), Andres Madrid (midfielder, no club), Silvio (defender, At. Madrid), Anibal Capela (defender, Sp. Covilhã), Leo Fortunato (defender, Vitória), Marco Ramos (defender, no club), Paulão (defender, Saint-Etienne), Keita (striker, Beijing Gouan) & Kaká (defender, Hertha)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Artur (goalkeeper), Rodriguez (defender), Paulão (defender), Silvio (defender) & Vandinho (midfielder)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-2-3-1

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Quim; Baiano, Nuno André Coelho, Paulo Vinicius, Imorou; Djamal, Hugo Viana; Alan, Pizzi, Lima; Nuno Gomes



Pre-season matches:

09/07 Freamunde 1-2 Sp. Braga

12/07 Sp. Braga 2-0 Brasov (neutral)

16/07 Leixões 2-2 Sp. Braga

19/07 Sp. Braga 4-1 Moreirense (neutral)

22/07 Celta Vigo 2-1 Sp. Braga

23/07 Desp. Aves 0-2 Sp. Braga

26/07 Gil Vicente 0-3 Sp. Braga

06/08 Sp. Braga vs Aston Villa



Gambler87's insight: After reaching incredibly the final of Europa League last year, president António Salvador said that his team will fight to win the title this season. He must be joking, as Sp. Braga has a very tough season in front of them. In this off-season, the team lost their whole defense. Goalkeeper Artur left to Benfica and left-back Elderson is the only defender in the roster this season that played for the team last season. Everybody else in the defense (starters and backups) left the team. This will obviously cause a lot of problems to the team, as rebuilding the whole defense is a very tough task. This season, Sp. Braga will use Quim as their starting goalkeeper. Quim is obviously a very good goalkeeper, however he is coming from a 12 months injury layoff due to a very serious knee injury. He will be 36 years old in November, so I don't know if he will be at the same level that Artur showed last season. In the right-back position, Sp. Braga recruited Baiano from Paços Ferreira, who is a decent player, but not at the same level of Portuguese international Silvio, who left to At. Madrid. In the centre-back position, both Paulão and Rodriguez left, so Sp. Braga got Nuno André Coelho (a backup for Sporting last season) and Paulo Vinicius (who did okay in União Leiria last season). Both players aren't weak players, but they simply aren't good enough for a supposed title contender. In the left-back position, Elderson is still in the roster, but I believe he will be benched in favour of Imorou, who is coming from Chateauroux, a second division team in France. Sp. Braga had a very good defense last season, but I believe the team will struggle defensively, as the whole defense will be new and lacking quality in comparison to the starters last season, who played so well that left to clubs with more money recruited them. In the midfield, Vandinho has left the club, so Djamal is coming from Beira-Mar to play in front of the defense. He is a solid player and he should be able to do his job without compromising the team. Hugo Viana will once again be the playmaker to make the connection to the three attacking midfielders: Lima (who impressed a lot last season), Alan (the team's better player last season, in my opinion) and Pizzi (who is coming from Paços Ferreira and was one of the main revelations of last year's league, especially after scoring a hat-trick against FC Porto). As the team's striker, Sp. Braga recruited the veteran Nuno Gomes from Benfica. He is obviously a very talented player, as shown all over the years in both Benfica and Portugal national team. However, he is 35 years old and past his prime. But with such talent helping him in the offense, he should still be able to do a very good job. If he struggles, Sp. Braga will have players like Paulo Cesar and Meyong in the bench, so the offense shouldn't really be a problem for the team this season. In conclusion, Sp. Braga won't be able to replicate the success of last season with such defense. The offense will be good again (and maybe even better than last year!), but their defense will cause them a lot of problems (and consequently, some losses). They will have a decent season, but far from winning the title. The 4th place should be the team's real goal for this season, where they will have a very tough defensive rebuilding to do.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Ticket to Europe (4th - 5th)
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Old 31-07-11, 20:39   #18
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Name: Sporting

Founded in: 1906

Based in: Lisbon

Stadium: José Alvalade (capacity: 50080)

Kit: Puma

Sponsors: TMN, Meo, Super Bock, CGD & Coca-Cola

Website: http://www.sporting.pt/

Budget: 40 million euro



President: Godinho Lopes

Coach: Domingos Paciência (first season)

Last Season: 3rd in Liga Sagres (48 points: 13 wins, 9 draws & 8 losses)



Players joining: Marcelo Boeck (goalkeeper, Maritimo), Arias (defender, ex-La Equidad), João Gonçalves (defender, ex-Olhanense), Onyewu (defender, ex-Twente), Rodriguez (defender, ex-Sp. Braga), Turan (defender, ex-Grenoble), André Martins (midfielder, ex-Pinhalnovense), Pereirinha (midfielder, ex-Kavala), Rinaudo (midfielder, ex-Gimnasia LP), Luis Aguiar (midfielder, ex-Sp. Braga), Schaars (midfielder, ex-AZ Alkmaar), Diego Capel (midfielder, ex-Sevilla), Bojinov (striker, ex-Parma), Diego Rubio (striker, ex-Colo Colo), Carrillo (striker, ex-Alianza Lima) & Van Wolfswinkel (striker, ex-FC Utrecht)



Players leaving: Liedson (striker, Corinthians), Nuno Andre Coelho (defender, Sp. Braga), Maniche (midfielder, no club), Saleiro (striker, Servette), Valdés (midfielder, Parma), Vukcevic (midfielder, no club), Zapater (midfielder, Lokomotiv), Pedro Mendes (midfielder, V. Guimaraes), Grimi (defender, no club), Diogo Salomão (midfielder, Deportivo), Abel (defender, no club), Torsiglieri (defender, Metalist), Hildebrand (goalkeeper, no club), Tales (midfielder, Internacional), Cedric (defender, Academica) & Cristiano (midfielder, Beira-Mar)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Valdés (midfielder) & Vukcevic (midfielder)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-1-3-2

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Rui Patricio; Joao Pereira, Rodriguez, Onyewu, Evaldo; Rinaudo; Izmailov, Schaars, Diego Capel; Van Wolfswinkel, Helder Postiga



Pre-season matches:

09/07 Sporting 3-0 Alta de Lisboa

13/07 FC Presikhaaf 0-8 Sporting

16/07 Telstar 0-3 Sporting

18/07 Ankaragucu 0-3 Sporting (neutral)

23/07 Sporting 2-1 Juventus

30/07 Sporting 0-3 Valencia

05/08 Sporting vs Malaga (neutral)



Gambler87's insight: What a tragedy last season was for Sporting. Finishing the season 36 points behind the champion FC Porto is just plain ridiculous. Sure FC Porto was amazing last season and that has to be taken in consideration, but a team like Sporting can't win just 13 games in a season. So, a revolution on the team was needed. Domingos (ex-Sp. Braga) is the new coach and he is a decent coach, as seen during his time in Braga. Sporting's mentality in the off-season was to only allow two starters to leave the team (Valdés and Vukcevic), but at the same time, recruit players with a lot of quality to be starters, so a lot of last year's starters will be benched this season. On the defense, Rui Patricio will be once again the goalkeeper and he was probably the player with less responsibilities on last year's disaster. João Pereira will continue as the team's right-back, with the horrible Evaldo having unbelievably the chance of still being the starting left-back, as the 19 years old Turan (ex-Grenoble) doesn't seem to be much better than him, at least for now. This position will be Sporting's weakest link and the opponents will use this to make Sporting struggle. In the centre-back position, Sporting recruited Rodriguez (ex-Sp. Braga) and Onyewu (ex-Twente). This most likely means Polga and Carriço will be benched. Polga is completely past his prime and he was one of the main culprits for Sporting's defensive struggles last year. Carriço is quite talented and it will be a shame that he is likely to be benched, as he was the best player in the team's defense last season and he is surely better than the slow and too aggressive Onyewu, who looked completely out-of-form in the pre-season. In front of the defense, Rinaudo (ex-Gimnasia LP) will play, benching the talented André Santos in the process. He looked okay in the pre-season, but not much better than André Santos really, so I wouldn't call this change a upgrade. Izmailov is a good player and surely should be a starter in this team, but his knee problems have prevented him from playing almost the whole season last year and nobody knows how recovered he is really to play at 100% this season. Together with Izmailov, Sporting should have in the midfield Schaars (ex-AZ Alkmaar) and Diego Capel (ex-Sevilla), a clear improvement over last year's midfield that had so many different players in that position, but never working very well. In the front, Helder Postiga is a hard-worker, but honestly I don't see on him so many qualities. He is the king of offsides, fights a lot, but he isn't simply a scorer like Liedson was, for example. However, it looks like he will be a starter, benching a player like Matias Fernandez as a consequence. The other striker should be Van Wolfswinkel, who was a great scorer in the Dutch league. If he is capable of playing at the same level in the Portuguese league, he will surely help Sporting a lot, in a position where Sporting was horrible last season. This is a surely a much improved team, as it will be really hard to do worse than last year. Domingos is a good coach, the team has a lot more quality options than last year, however the left-back position is still highly problematic. They will be much closer to the top of the league, however I don't see them recovering a 36 points gap to FC Porto in just one season. A lot of work needs to be done and the rest of the struggles need to be corrected in order to see Sporting close to the title once again. However, a 2nd place is not out of reach, if they don't struggle with injuries and Domingos makes the right decisions at the right times.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Champions League Place (2nd - 3rd)
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Old 31-07-11, 23:23   #19
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Great work, mate.
I have a question - for some teams like Setubal (budget 1,3 mln. EUR) or Olhanense (budget 1,4 mln. EUR) is it their whole budget or only for transfers?
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Old 31-07-11, 23:39   #20
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Quote:
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Great work, mate.
I have a question - for some teams like Setubal (budget 1,3 mln. EUR) or Olhanense (budget 1,4 mln. EUR) is it their whole budget or only for transfers?
It's their whole budget really!
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Old 01-08-11, 00:15   #21
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Name: Benfica

Founded in: 1904

Based in: Lisbon

Stadium: Luz (capacity: 65000)

Kit: Adidas

Sponsors: TMN, Sagres, PT, Meo, CGD & Coca-Cola

Website: http://www.slbenfica.pt/

Budget: 50 million euro



President: Luis Filipe Vieira

Coach: Jorge Jesus (since 2009/2010)

Last Season: 2nd in Liga Sagres (63 points: 20 wins, 3 draws & 7 losses)



Players joining: Artur (goalkeeper, ex-Sp.Braga), Eduardo (goalkeeper, ex-Genova), Mika (goalkeeper, ex-U. Leiria), Garay (defender, ex-Real Madrid), Miguel Vitor (defender, ex-Leicester), Fabio Faria (defender, ex-Valladolid), Capdevilla (defender, Villareal), Emerson (defender, Lille), Matic (midfielder, ex-Vitesse), Nuno Coelho (midfielder, ex-Academica), Witsel (midfielder, ex-St. Liege), Enzo Perez (midfielder, ex-Estudiantes), Bruno Cesar (striker, ex-Corinthians), Nolito (striker, ex-Barcelona B), Rodrigo (striker, ex-Bolton) & Nelson Oliveira (striker, ex-Paços Ferreira)



Players leaving: Sidnei (defender, Besiktas), Fabio Coentrao (defender, Real Madrid), Roberto (goalkeeper, no club), Julio Cesar (goalkeeper, no club), Moreira (goalkeeper, Swansea City), Cesar Peixoto (defender, no club), Weldon (striker, Cluj), Airton (midfielder, Flamengo), Felipe Menezes (midfielder, Botafogo), Nuno Gomes (striker, Sp. Braga), Salvio (midfielder, At. Madrid), Luis Filipe (defender, Olhanense), Carole (defender, no club), Alan Kardec (striker, Santos), Carlos Martins (midfielder, no club) & Fernandez (midfielder, Estudiantes)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: Roberto (goalkeeper), Sidnei (defender), Fabio Coentrao (defender) & Carlos Martins (midfielder)



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-4-2

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Capdevilla; Javi Garcia, Enzo Perez, Aimar, Gaitan; Cardozo, Saviola



Pre-season matches:

09/07 Local Fribourg team 1-9 Benfica

10/07 Servette 1-1 Benfica

12/07 Dijon 2-1 Benfica

15/07 Benfica 3-1 Paris SG (neutral)

17/07 Benfica 2-2 Anderlecht (neutral)

20/07 Benfica 1-0 Toulouse

06/08 Benfica vs Arsenal



Gambler87's insight: Last year was a very tough year for Benfica. I wouldn't say their results were terrible, but the number of times they were humiliated by FC Porto was just too much for any Benfica supporter to handle. Coach Jorge Jesus barely resisted in his job and he will be under fire since the beginning of the season. But that's not only him to be in this situation. Team's captain Luisao has requested a transfer, the club denied it and the crowd booed him the last time Benfica played at home. Cardozo is also being booed by the crowd, who thinks he doesn't want to play for Benfica anymore. Saviola looks far away from his normal level. Coentrao, the saviour of the team so many times last season, has gone to Real Madrid. Even with some decent hirings, Benfica's future isn't exactly looking very bright right now. At least, there are good news in the goalkeeper position. Roberto is gone! This hiring was a disaster last season, with Roberto being the biggest joke of the whole league by unbelievably allowing some goals that even I wouldn't allow! Julio Cesar and Moreira, the other goalkeepers last year, are also gone. So, Benfica recruited Artur from Sp. Braga and Portugal's national team first goalkeeper Eduardo, who had a horrible season in Genova. They are now well served in the goalkeeping position, especially if they use Artur as the team's first goalkeeper, as he is indeed very good. On defense, it looks like Luisao will continue, while Garay is coming to be his partner in the center of the defense. He is coming from Real Madrid, he is a good defender, with a lot of experience in European clubs. Maxi Pereira remains as the team's right-back, while Capdevilla was brought as the replacement of Coentrao. Capdevilla is a veteran player, however he is still a very good defender, even though he doesn't have a tenth of Coentrao's offensive skills that helped the team so much last season. In the midfield, Javi Garcia will continue as the defensive midfielder, while Enzo Perez will replace Carlos Martins, who is being let go by Benfica. Aimar and Gaitan will continue as the third and fourth members of the midfield. In the front, Cardozo and Saviola will remain as the team's two strikers, but right now they seem nowhere near their regular level and therefore, I expect Benfica to struggle a lot offensively. With Moreira and Nuno Gomes gone, Benfica doesn't have a locker room leader and that's also a big reason for concern, on a team who will be really pressured to show results from the first minute of the season. I believe their season this year will be similar to last year. They have a very good defense, however their offense is weak for the team's level and this will be a huge cause for concern. They will have some good results, with some poor losses in the mix, lacking the consistence to beat a team like FC Porto, who remains clearly the best team in the league. Benfica should repeat their 2nd place, however they need to take a look at Sporting as well, who won't be as poor as they were last season.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Champions League Place (2nd - 3rd)
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Old 01-08-11, 00:52   #22
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Name: FC Porto

Founded in: 1893

Based in: Oporto

Stadium: Dragão (capacity: 50399)

Kit: Nike

Sponsors: TMN, Super Bock, PT, Revigres & Meo

Website: http://www.fcporto.pt

Budget: 95 million euro




President: Pinto da Costa

Coach: Vitor Pereira (first season - assistant coach last season)

Last Season: 1st in Liga Sagres (84 points: 27 wins, 3 draws & 0 losses)



Players joining: Danilo (defender, ex-Santos), Alex Sandro (defender, ex-Santos), Castro (midfield, ex-Sp. Gijon), Iturbe (striker, ex-Cerro Porteno), Kleber (striker, ex-Maritimo), Djalma (striker, ex-Maritimo) & Kelvin (striker, ex-Paraná)



Players leaving: Beto (goalkeeper, no club), Miguel Lopes (defender, no club), Ukra (striker, Sp. Braga), Kieszek (goalkeeper, no club) & Mariano Gonzalez (midfielder, Estudiantes)



2010/11 usual starters leaving: None!



Projected 2011/12 formation: 4-3-3

Projected 2011/12 lineup: Helton; Sapnuaru, Rolando, Otamendi, Alvaro Pereira; Fernando, Guarin, Moutinho; Hulk, Falcao, Varela



Pre-season matches:

06/07 FC Porto 7-0 Tourizense

10/07 FC Gutersloh 1-10 FC Porto

16/07 Borussia Mönchengladbach 0-0 FC Porto

17/07 SC Verl 1-3 FC Porto

21/07 Rio Ave 1-3 FC Porto

24/07 FC Porto 3-0 Penarol

31/07 Lyon 2-1 FC Porto (neutral)



Gambler87's insight: Last year was a golden season for FC Porto. They won the league with 27 wins and 3 draws in 30 matches, they won the cup and they won the Europa League. Now with every single starter returning from last season and with the bench being reinforced with more talent, I don't see why FC Porto won't repeat what they did last season in the Portuguese league. Sure coach Villas Boas has gone to Chelsea, but he is being replaced by his assistant coach, who knows the whole "machine" and just needs to keep it going. He won't need to rebuild neither the defense or the offense, he just needs to keep the players executing the same thing they were doing last season and Vitor Pereira will surely be capable of doing that. The team's defense is very good and they have just allowed last season 16 goals in 30 games! Helton is an excellent goalkeeper and then Sapunaru, Rolando, Otamendi and Alvaro Pereira form a great defensive line, which will be very well assisted by bench players like Fucile or Alex Sandro. And then, there's Brazilian Under-20 squad star Danilo coming in January. Even if someone leaves the team before the transfer market window closes, FC Porto will remain a very good defensive team, especially in comparison to their internal competition. The midfield is just one of the best in Europe. Fernando is a very good defensive midfielder and there's also the two talented youngsters Souza and Castro waiting for an opportunity. Guarin exploded last season and became a world class player. Moutinho remains a fantastic player and he has regained his best level since he joined FC Porto. And there's still Argentinian international Belluschi and Portuguese international Ruben Micael waiting for opportunities in the bench. If the midfield of the team is great, the offense isn't worse. Falcao is one of the best scorers in the world and he is coming a season where he set a new record for most goals scored in an European competition in one season. Hulk is one of the most explosive players in the world and even though he is a bit selfish with the ball, he has loads of technique and power, being almost impossible to guard conveniently. Varela is also a very quick attacking midfielder, who can take advantage of any open space in the field to run with the ball and cause a lot of problems. And then once again, the bench is full of talent as well. There's James Rodriguez, who is one of the best Under-20 players in the world. There's Djalma, who is coming from Maritimo and he is very similar to Varela. There's Kleber, who is also coming from Maritimo and has already shown in the pre-season that he can replace Falcao when necessary by scoring a lot of goals and fitting perfectly with Hulk and Varela. There's Iturbe, another teenager full of potential, billed as one of the best Argentinian players of his generation. There's Cristian Rodriguez, who may leave the team, but if he doesn't, he is another valid option. There's too much quality, too much options for any Portuguese team to beat them in a league with 30 games. Once again, FC Porto may only lose points to very good teams such as Benfica or Sporting, winning every other game quite comfortably. I don't believe the coaching change will be an issue and looking at everything, FC Porto is currently in another galaxy in comparison to everybody else in this league. Maybe they won't win the title with an advantage of 21 points over the 2nd place like last season, but I don't see FC Porto in any other position at the end of the league than in the 1st place.



Season Prediction as of July 28th: Champion (1st)
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Old 01-08-11, 00:53   #23
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All teams have now been previewed. I'll make an update on the previews, considering new hirings and departures, among other important news, a couple of days before the 1st round, probably on the 12th of August!
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Old 01-08-11, 20:08   #24
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Hi gambler87 - what do you think about Porto - Vitoria Guimares (Super Cup) ? I'm going to bet on Porto (1,33) lot of money ... Is it worth it ? I want to know your opinion ...
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Old 01-08-11, 20:29   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
Hi gambler87 - what do you think about Porto - Vitoria Guimares (Super Cup) ? I'm going to bet on Porto (1,33) lot of money ... Is it worth it ? I want to know your opinion ...
If you want mine : less than 3-0 for Porto is a good result to Vitoria.
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Old 01-08-11, 21:59   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
Hi gambler87 - what do you think about Porto - Vitoria Guimares (Super Cup) ? I'm going to bet on Porto (1,33) lot of money ... Is it worth it ? I want to know your opinion ...
Still 6 days to go for this match. I will only handicap it with one day to go most likely. Champions League & Europa League are the priority for now. However, I pretty much agree that it should be a quite easy win for FC Porto.
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Old 02-08-11, 14:50   #27
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hi guys what about porto's line-up for portugal super-cup?how is situation about porto's international players like falcao,guarin,james rodriguez ecc?could be a problem their assence?i think porto will win any case....thanks bye bye
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Old 02-08-11, 15:04   #28
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yeah good question ... Are they take this seriously ? What is the propable line-up ?
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Old 06-08-11, 16:05   #29
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I've decided to just release the first update at every team preview with new additions only after the end of round 1 on August 16th. It makes more sense to first see the real lineups and then, preview the rest of the season.
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Old 18-08-11, 18:13   #30
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I had plans on updating the previews this week, however looking at the crazy week the Portuguese teams are having, with new hirings and key players leaving everyday, I'll only update the previews after the transfer window closes.
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