4 matches that show the Portuguese Primeira Liga is set for an intriguing final day
It is the final gameweek of the Portuguese Primeira Liga next weekend, and with the title and relegation both still to be decided, there are 4 particularly significant matches to enjoy in Portuguese football next Sunday.
Tondela vs Chaves
It's not very often that you get a match between two sides that both have something to play for on the final day of the season. But, like the clash between Guimarães and Moreirense, Tondela and Chaves both have something huge to play for - Primeira Liga survival.
That's right. There's only one relegation spot left to fill, with two teams still capable of occupying that space at the end of the season and suffering the drop to the Segunda Liga, and they are both playing against each other on the very last day.
33 matches and it comes down to this. Two teams, level on points, playing in a one-off match that will decide who gets to maintain Primeira Liga status for next season.
As it stands, Tondela are in the relegation zone because, even though they have a better goal difference than Chaves, they go into the match with a worse head-to-head record, having lost versus Chaves in the earlier fixture this season 2-1.
This means that even victory will not necessarily confirm Tondela survival, with a variety of different permutations possible regarding this match.
Chaves win by any score: Chaves survive.
Draw: Chaves survive.
Tondela win by any score: Tondela survive.
Moreirense vs Guimarães
On paper, the neutrals may think little of this clash.
However, a closer examination of this fixture and you see that these are the two sides that are battling it out for fifth place in the league and ultimately the title of "Best of the Rest".
Indeed, Moreirense sit 5th, and would ordinarily, in any other given season, be in the driving seat for making Europa League qualification for the first time in their history, while Guimarães sit 6th, just three points behind Moreirense but with a better head-to-head record.
And so it comes down to this; after a season of tug-of-war between both teams, it is still all to play for as they face one another on the very last day of the season.
Guimarães were highly fancied to finish 5th at the start of the campaign, having recruiter shrewdly and looking set to try and break away from the chasing pack, while Moreirense only narrowly escaped relegation last season. To say their position in the table is a surprise would be an understatement.
And this match would be even more exciting in any other season, where they would be battling it out for Europa League football. Unfortunately, on this occasion, Moreirense failed to apply for a license to compete in the competition in time, and so Guimarães are already guaranteed that final Europa League spot.
In any case, it's one of those unusual situations where it's in both club's hands to be best of the rest on the very last day. The question is, who will take it?
Guimarães win (by any score): Guimarães finish 5th.
Draw: Moreirense finish 5th.
Moreirense win (by any score): Moreirense finish 5th.
Porto vs Sporting
It's not very often that you end the season with a meeting between two of the "Big Three" in the country, but this year, that's exactly what happens.
Porto meet Sporting as they bid to try and steal the title from Benfica on the very last day of the season. They know that nothing short of victory will be enough to catch Benfica should their title rivals slip up on the very last day. And they couldn't have asked for a much harder match to do that than against Sporting CP.
Benfica vs Santa Clara
And the other half of the story takes place in Lisbon, where Benfica welcome Santa Clara on the last day.
Benfica know that victory, or even a point due to their superior head-to-head record over Porto, will see them reclaim the title. Should they slip up drastically though, the title can go to Porto.
Benfica win: Benfica win the league.
Benfica draw: Benfica win the league.
Benfica lose and Porto win: Porto win the league.