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Paul Portimonense Successfullyavoided relegation from the Portuguese top flight once again in the 2021-22 campaign, finishing comfortably in 13th place.

A healthy nine-point gap remained between themselves and the drop zone, despite winning just three of their final 20 league matches of the season.

Sergio will be hopeful that his side can enjoy a successful summer workout as they look to start the 2022-23 campaign better than they finished the last one, although they got off to a losing start on Saturday.

Portimonense’s losing start came in a tough test against Ligue 1 outfit Monaco at the weekend, who qualified for this season’s Champions League, so unsurprisingly, the Portuguese side fell to a 2-0 defeat.

There will be expectation for them to bounce back against weaker opposition in the form of Birmingham on Tuesday however, particularly with them competing on home soil in soaring temperatures.

Preview: Portimonense vs. Birmingham – prediction, team news, lineups

Meanwhile, as previously alluded to, Birmingham’s preparations for the 2022-23 campaign have been somewhat turbulent on and off the pitch.

Lingering doubts over a potential takeover has halted much of their transfer activity, whilst repairs to two stands at their stadium have also been put on hold due to the uncertainty.

Financial issues put plenty of pressure on the club last season too, and despite performing respectably under Lee Bowyer, the former Charlton Athletic boss was relieved of his duties on July 2, just four weeks prior to their season opener against Luton Town.

Highly-rated coach John Eustace has been handed the reins to provide a much-needed boost however, and the former Queens Park Rangers assistant manager has inherited a squad lacking several loan stars of last season.

Eustace will get his time in the dugout off to a start on Tuesday, with Blues having not yet featured in a pre-season friendly so far this summer, which will provide the new boss with plenty of opportunity to run the rule over his squad ahead of another challenging year for the Championship side.

Portimonense Club Friendlies 1 form:
L
Team News
Preview: Portimonense vs. Birmingham – prediction, team news, lineups

Portimonense will be sure to hand some first-team minutes to summer recruits Moustapha Seck, Zie Ouattara, Rui Gomes and Yago Cariello on Tuesday, as Santos continues to hand game time to all of his squad ahead of their season opener on August 7.

Welinton Junior was the side’s top goalscorer in the Primeira Liga last campaign, despite only returning to the club in January at the end of a loan spell away, and the 29-year-old is likely to bare much of the goalscoring burden here from any role across the front line.

As for Birmingham, having arrived back at the club on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, central defender Dion Sanderson will be looking to make his second debut for the club on Tuesday.

Fellow summer recruit Przemyslaw Placheta will also be hoping to earn some minutes for his new side following his arrival from Norwich City on a season-long loan deal.

The likes of Tahith Chong, Onel Hernandez and Lyle Taylor have all returned to their parent clubs following the conclusion of the 2021-22 campaign, leaving Eustace with very few options in attack ahead of their pre-season opener.

Portimonense possible starting lineup:
Nakamura; Ouattara, Pedrao, Rocha, Lazaar; Jocu, Sa; Junior, Luquinha, Kawasaki; Fabricio

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Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Sanderson, Gordon, Friend; Colin, Gardner, Woods, Graham; Bacuna, Deeney, Placheta

Preview: Portimonense vs. Birmingham – prediction, team news, lineups
We say: Portimonense 2-0 Birmingham City
With this being a tough test for Birmingham under any circumstance, never mind their current troubles on and off the pitch, we can see them opening their pre-season preparations with defeat in Portugal on Tuesday.

The hosts certainly possess the greater quality on paper anyway, and they will be relishing the chance to earn their first win of the summer following a difficult test against Monaco at the weekend.

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