After 180 minutes of football and no goal scored, Porto and Sportingbet open on Wednesday, February 7, another couple of matches. They will make the first of the two duels in the Dragão Stadium, in Oporto, with a place in the 2017/2018 Portuguese Cup decision. The second match is scheduled for Lisbon on April 18.
Porto’s recent performance
It was Porto’s first major failure this season. Until then, the team was very well in the competition of all the tournaments, including the Champions League of Europe, where it obtained the classification for the eighth of end. It will face Liverpool from 14 February.
The loss to Sporting seems to have shaken Porto players, who ended up stumbling over Moreirense in the sequence, this time by the Portuguese Championship. They were again in the goalless draw.
But the recovery happened on Saturday, February 3, Acting at home, Porto scored 3 to 1 in Braga and maintained the lead of the tournament. He has 52 points (16 wins and four draws). They are two more than Benfica and Sporting, who are just behind. However, the Porto still has a match more to complete than the rivals.
Coach Sérgio Conceição has some concussion problems to manage with the classic this Wednesday. The defender Ivan Marcano (18 matches in Portuguese Championship 2017/2018, two goals) is delivered to the medical department; and André (10 games without a goal), Danilo Pereira (18 games, one goal) and Otávio (six games without a goal). New exams will define whether they will be released to act.
The current form of Sporting
Although he has added another trophy to his gallery, winning the League Cup, which is the least important of Portugal’s competitions, is still little bit for Sporting fans who have been fasting for Portuguese Championship titles for more than a decade .
In pursuit of that goal, the team suffered a significant stumble on Sunday, February 4. In match for the twenty-first round, it took 2 to 0 of the Estoril, that fights against the relegation.
This not only prevented the team from passing Porto in the lead but also losing second place to Benfica. Although they are tied for scoring, the current four-time national champion, who thrashed Rio Ave 5-1, takes advantage of goal difference.
It remains to know how this will shake the players commanded by coach Jorge Jesus on the eve of the classic. The psychological issue is not the only one the commander will have to worry about. Three of his top offensive players are in the process of recovering from injuries. They are Bas Dost (20 matches in Portuguese Championship 2017/2018, 19 goals), Gelson Martins (19 matches, five goals) and Daniel Podence (12 matches, no goal).
History of the matches
The teams have had two meetings in the current season and no goal has been scored in regular time. The first match took place in October and won the Portuguese Championship. It was held in Lisbon. The second one also happened in the Portuguese capital, but it was worth for the League Cup of Portugal. After a tie in regulation time and overtime, Sporting took the best in the penalty shootout, advanced to the final and got the title of the tournament.
The many offensive problems must make Jorge Jesus choose a more conservative strategy for the classic that will be played at the rival’s stadium. With an average of more than three goals per game when playing at home in the Portuguese Championship, Porto showed that they have difficulties in facing the defensive system of Sporting. This makes the draw a good guess for the classic. Has a price of 3.50 in Bet365. Victory of the owners of the house pays 1.75 and of the visitors yields 4.75. Prices in effect at 14:50 on 5/2/2018.