Sporting and Porto begin to dispute on Wednesday, January 24, a series of three classics in cups. The first of them is worth a place in the decision of the League Cup of Portugal. Scheduled to start at 18:45 (Brasília time), it will be played at the Municipal Stadium of Braga.
The other two, scheduled for February 7 and April 18, will be worth the semi-finals of the Portuguese Cup. In both tournaments, the classics are considered an anticipated final, since Benfica have been eliminated from both competitions and anyone who survives in this fight will be considered the favorite for the titles.
In the Portuguese Cup, the definition happens only in one game. Thus, if there is a tie, a 30-minute extension will be made and, with equality remaining, the definition will take place in penalty kicks.
Sporting’s recent performance
In search of breaking a fast of titles of the Portuguese Championship that already lasts more than a decade and a half, Sporting had a major stumble on Friday, January 19. As a visitor, he was in the draw, by 1 to 1, with the Vitória de Setúbal.
With that, he was overcome by Porto, who, at home, defeated the Tondela, by 1 to 0, in the fight for the leadership of the tournament. He has 47 points (14 wins and five draws) while the rival has gone to 48 (15 wins and three draws). Benfica, the winner of the last four editions of the competition, is just behind with 46.
The game numbers, however, show a different story than the marker. Sporting dominated the ball (54% to 46%), finished more than three times as many times as the rival (10-3), but only hit twice in the first half against Setúbal. The lack of quality in the aim ended up costing the loss of two points.
For the classic this Wednesday, coach Jorge Jesus probably will not be able to count on defender Jonathan Silva (six matches in the Portuguese Championship 2017/2018, no goal). He suffered a serious knee injury and has not yet scheduled a date to return to the team.
Current form of Porto
The modest score of the match against Tondela is also not able to express the dominion of Porto. With 53 percent of the ball. The teams went for the halftime break at 17 minutes into the game, with 17 percent of possession. While the visitors did not hit a goal, the hosts sent ten balls to the target. The work of goalkeeper Claudio Ramos prevented a more extensive score.
With success, however, Porto not only regained the edge of the Portuguese Championship as it increased its undefeated series to 20 matches (15 wins and five draws). Coach Sérgio Conceição also has only one medical problem for the classic. Follows injury treatment Brazilian midfielder Otávio (six matches in Portuguese Championship 2017/2018, no goal).
History of the matches
The classic has already had an issue in the current season. For the first round of the Portuguese Championship, Sporting received Porto in October. They were in the goalless draw.
Caution should be the key word of the match that will be played in neutral field. The teams have the best defenses in Portugal. The Porto was leaked nine times in 18 matches. Sporting, who made one more game, saw the ball in his net 11 times. That makes the tie a good choice for a guess this Wednesday. In Bet365, the return on equity is 3.40 for each invested real. Sporting success earns 2.87 and Porto pays 2.37. Prices in effect at 17:11 on 22/1/2018.
Our Prediction: DRAW @ 3.40