Sporting Lisbon host Porto at the Estádio José Alvalade stadium this Saturday in the Portuguese league, kicking off at 3:30pm local time. Porto are current holders, and league leaders in Portugal, but will know that this is one of the trickiest fixtures of the season, and is regarded as one of the most important matches in the calendar year for both sets of fans.

Home Team: Sporting Lisbon

It was one of the darkest days in Sporting’s history in May in 2018, where the club’s own supporters had attacked their own team in the changing room following a defeat. Sporting went into the final two games of last season with a decent chance of winning the title, and at worst finishing second to secure Champions League progression. Unfortunately, in those two games, they picked up one point and finished 3rd. To add insult to injury, Sporting also lost the Portuguese cup final, so after a turbulent end of the season, the manager and many key players had left.

Therefore.. it’s no surprise that this season hasn’t exactly started how they imagined it, despite recalling back Luis Nani, and progressing to the latter stages of Europa League. The club are now 4th, and if they want to be serious contenders for the title, they will have to beat Porto, which will narrow the gap to the top of the table to 5 points. If they lose? Then it will be 11 points and time to call it a day on their slight title chances.

Away Team: Porto

Porto are far from their recent European winning teams in 2004, and 2011, but they have had a few good seasons under current manager Sérgio Conceição. They have reached the last 16 of the Champions League two years in a row, and perhaps may even progress further this year as they have Roma in the next round. In their domestic league, Porto ended four consecutive titles of Benfica to win the title last season, and look strong to win the title again this upcoming May.

Porto will know that winning this game would be a huge statement to make, as they bid to maintain or extend their lead at the top. The club have won 14 out of 16 matches in the league this season, losing the other two. Porto don’t drop points often, so if they win the games that pundits would tip them to draw or lose, then it shows their strong title credentials once again. Porto have just announced they have signed Pepe from Besiktas, as the Portuguese international returns back to his former club to further assure up the defence.

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Head to Head

Porto do not like visiting Sporting Lisbon, as they have failed to win there since 2008. It’s been over a decade since they have taken three points, and in the last possible 27 points available, they have only gained 6 points from all of their trips. Porto have had a lot of success against Sporting at home, but they will want to end their hoodoo at Sporting. The clubs played three times last year, with Porto winning their home match 2-1, with two games at Sporting, a drab 0-0 affair in the league, and also a game in the Portuguese Cup which Sporting won at home 1-0.

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Predictions and Betting Tips

bet now betting on footballDespite the awful record at Sporting, Porto are ranked slight favourites at 11/8 to get the victory. A win for the hosts is at 2/1, and a draw is priced at 9/4. I’d have to sit on the fence on this one and call a draw, and my score prediction would be 1-1 at 5/1. Only one goal was scored in the last two of these fixtures, so backing there to be less than 1.5 goals in the match at 9/4 should be given some thought. However, I don’t think that the defences of either side are spectacular, so I believe you should be bold and go for over 3.5 goals at a generous 5/2.

If you have to pick a winner, and want to boost your odds significantly, then it would be wise to back Porto to win to nil at 14/5. The reasoning for this is that they are due a win at their big rivals ground, as 10 years is too long, and with the match to be cagey, winning 1-0 or 2-0 can seem likely.

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