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Goal.com previews the upcoming 2010-11 season in Portugal...

ACADEMICA

Coach: Jorge Costa since summer 2010

Star Men: Nuno Coelho, Orlando

Last Season: 11th

Season Expectations: Midtable stability

Ins: Romuald Peiser, Diogo Valente, Pape Sow, Hugo Morais, Laionel, David Addy, Diogo Melo

Outs: Emidio Rafael, Bruno Amaro, Modou Sougou, William Tiero, Paulo Sergio, Lito

Porto legend Jorge Costa starts a new experience after working miracles with Olhanense, and some shrewd signings should be enough not to be involved in the relegation battle.

BEIRA MAR

Coach: Leonardo Jardim since summer 2009

Star Men: Hugo, Fary Faye

Last Season: Champions in Liga de Honra

Season Expectations: Relegation battle

Ins: Leandro Tatu, Wilson Eduardo, Diogo Rosado, Paes, Renan, Joao Luiz

Outs: Fabeta, Elio Martins

Senegalese Fary Faye once was a feared striker in Portugal. Hard to see him getting to the same level at the age of 35, and his team are likely to struggle.

BENFICA

Coach: Jorge Jesus since summer 2009

Star Men: Oscar Cardozo, Pablo Aimar, Fabio Coentrao

Last Season: Champions

Season Expectations: Retaining the title

Ins: Roberto, Nicolas Gaitan, Franco Jara, Fabio Faria, Rodrigo, Jan Oblak

Outs: Angel di Maria, Ramires, Quim, Gilles Binya

Jorge Jesus did especially well to build an exciting team that took the league by storm last season, walking away with the title while scoring astonishing 78 goals in the process. Things could be more complicated this time with star midfielders Di Maria and Ramires sold at a hefty profit, and defender David Luiz probably on his way. With Champions League fights ahead, a somewhat short bench could pose a problem, but they are still a good bet to fight Porto for first place.

BRAGA

Coach: Domingos Paciencia since summer 2009

Star Men: Vandinho, Albert Meyong

Last Season: 2nd

Season Expectations: Europe

Ins: Leandro Salino, Helder Barbosa, Leo Fortunato, Quim, Lima, George Lucas, Marcos, Artur, Elton, Felipe

Outs: Eduardo, Pawel Kieszek, Filipe Oliveira, Evaldo, Diogo Valente, Rafael Bastos

Braga had their best ever finish last season, mainly due to an outstanding defence and an amazing home record. Both will be tested this time round, with a lot of newcomers coming in, and star international goalkeeper Eduardo sold to Genoa. With his replacement Quim injured till Christmas, it’s hard to see Braga challenging for the title again, but they proved their worth versus Celtic in the Champions League, and are a good bet to qualify for Europe.

LEIRIA

Coach: Lito Vidigal since October 2009

Star Men: Silas, Carlao

Last Season: 9th

Season Expectations: Top half

Ins: Rodrigo Silva, Zhang Chengdong, Marcos Paulo, Anderson Lessa, Diogo Amado, Eduardo Gottardi, Paulo Sergio

Outs: Pape Sow, Andre Santos, Cassio

Leiria had a decent season after returning to the top flight, and are expected to make further progress after signing some interesting players in the summer.

MARITIMO

Coach: Mitchell van der Gaag since September 2009

Star Men: Tcho, Kanu

Last Season: 5th

Season Expectations: Europe

Ins: Heldon, Marquinho, Danilo Dias, Ricardo Esteves, Andre Vilas Boas

Outs: Paulo Jorge, Manu, Miguelito

Having qualified for Europe in a pretty average season, the Islanders would be happy to build on that, but their stars should be in top form to achieve that.

NACIONAL

Coach: Predrag Jokanovic since December 2009

Star Men: Bruno Patacas, Felipe Lopes

Last season: 7th

Season Expectations: To finish above Maritimo

Ins: Claudemir, Danielson, Orlando Sa, Danijel Stojanovic

Outs: Leandro Salino, Douglas, Marco Airosa

Cristiano Ronaldo’s former team are desperate to qualify for Europe after playing in the Europa League group stages last season, but without decent attacking power that might be beyond them.

NAVAL

Coach: Victor Zvunka since summer 2010

Star Men: Carlitos, Marinho

Last Season: 8th

Season Expectations: Avoiding relegation battle

Ins: Romain Salin, Robin Previtali, Orestes

Outs: Diego Angelo, Bruno Lazaroni, Romuald Peiser

Acquiring veteran French coach Zvunka and bringing some more journeymen from France is an interesting move from a team that had the worst attack in the league last season (just 20 goals). Tough times could be ahead.

OLHANENSE

Coach: Dauto Faquira since summer 2010

Star Men: Djalmir, Carlos Fernandes

Last Season: 13th

Season Expectations: Relegation battle

Ins: Yontcha, Ricardo Batista, Fernando Alexandre, Jorge Goncalves, Mexer, Lulinha

Outs: Stephane, Rui Baiao

It remains to be seen how last season’s newcomers will do without influential Jorge Costa on the bench. Teams like Olhanense usually struggle in their second season in the top flight, and avoiding relegation will be a big success.

PACOS FERREIRA

Coach: Rui Vitoria since summer 2010

Star Men: Paulo Sousa, Maykon

Last Season: 10th

Season Expectations: Relegation battle

Ins: David Simao, Nuno Santos

Outs: Danielson, William, Ricardo, Filipe Mendes

After losing most of their stars during last season and in the summer, without signing any decent replacements, the modest outfit are very likely to struggle.

PORTIMONENSE

Coach: Litos since summer 2009

Star Men: Ricardo Pessoa, Ivanildo

Last Season: 2nd in Liga de Honra

Season Expectations: Relegation battle

Ins: Ventura, Andre Pinto, Elias, Nuno Santos, Di Fabio, Candeias, Pedro Moreira, Lito, Sergio Junior

Outs: Diogo Melo, Fabio Sapateiro, Vasco Matos, Joao Pedro

The southerners signed a lot of new players, knowing only too well that last season’s roster wouldn’t be good enough in the first division. It remains to be seen how of manager Litos is able to get them all together before it is too late.

PORTO

Coach: Andre Villas Boas since summer 2010

Star Men: Radamel Falcao, Raul Meireles

Last Season: 3rd

Season Expectations: Championship

Ins: Joao Moutinho, Walter, James Rodriguez, Pawel Kieszek, Souza, Rafa

Outs: Bruno Alves, Ernesto Farias, Tomas Costa

After a hugely disappointing season, Porto go Mourinho-style, with the Special One’s long-time assistant Villas Boas installed as the new boss. Gambling on a 33-year-old is a bold move, especially with captain and leader Bruno Alves sold to Zenit St. Petersburg, but Porto won the Supercup against Benfica and are definitely capable of challenging for the title if Falcao shows his enormous potential.

RIO AVE

Coach: Carlos Brito since January 2009

Star Men: Vitor Gomes, Joao Tomas

Last Season: 12th

Season Expectations: Midtable

Ins: Roderick Miranda, Yazalde, Saulo, Fábio Felício, Renato Santos, Diogo Matias, Tiago Pinto, Milhazes, Bruno China, Mario Felgueiras, Cicero

Outs: Silvio, Chidi, Andre Vilas Boas, Carlos

With Carlos Brito on the bench for the last year and a half, in his third spell at the club, Rio Ave are amazingly enjoying more stability than most of their rivals. An interesting mix of veterans and youthful potential, they might cause a few surprises.

SPORTING CP

Coach: Paulo Sergio since summer 2010

Star Men: Liedson, Pedro Mendes

Last Season: 4th

Season Expectations: Champions League place

Ins: Evaldo, Maniche, Alberto Zapater, Jaime Valdes, Marco Torsiglieri, Nuno Andre Coelho

Outs: Joao Moutinho, Miguel Veloso

Finishing 28 points behind eternal rivals Benfica was a very big blow for the Lions, and they hope to do much better in 2010-11 with new coach Paulo Sergio arriving from Guimaraes. The two biggest midfield stars, Joao Moutinho and Miguel Veloso, are gone, but there are expectations the team will be stronger without them since they were clearly lacking motivation last season. Much will depend on the goal-scoring form of Liedson who was mediocre in recent times.

VITORIA GUIMARAES

Coach: Manuel Machado since summer 2010

Star Men: Joao Alves, Flavio Meireles

Last Season: 6th

Season Expectations: Midtable stability

Ins: Ricardo, Edgar, Edson, Abdelghani Faouzi

Outs: Yves Desmarets, Marquinho, Roberto

Guimaraes almost qualified for the Champions League two years ago, but those days look like a distant past. Manuel Machado returns to the town of his birth to bring some flair to a fairly average squad.

VITORIA SETUBAL

Coach: Manuel Fernandes since October 2009

Star Men: Hugo Leal, Jose Pedro

Last Season: 14th

Season Expectations: Midtable

Ins: Hugo Leal, Jose Pedro, Anderson do O, Bruno Gallo, Miguelito, Diego

Outs: Keita, Luis Carlos, Kazmierczak, Lourenco

Manuel Fernandes was definitely better as a striker than as a coach, and yet there is a reason for optimism in Setubal. After nearly avoiding relegation with a dreadful defensive record, interesting signings were made, and Hugo Leal in particular must prove he is not just a 'has-been'.


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