The first major clash of the 2020/21 Primeira Liga season takes place on Saturday as Sporting CP welcome FC Porto to the Estadio Jose Alvalade at 8:30pm.
Sporting XI: Adan; Neto, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Mendes, Goncalves, Palhinha, Nunes; Santos, Jovane.
Porto XI: Marchesin; Manafa, Pepe, Mbemba, Zaidu; Otavio, Sergio, Uribe; Diaz, Marega, Corona.
Where to watch Sporting vs FC Porto on TV:
- UK: FreeSports
- US: GolTV
Where to live stream Sporting vs FC Porto:
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Sporting vs FC Porto build-up, pre-match team news & previous line-ups:
Sergio Conceicao’s Porto side have endured a mixed start to the new season, winning their opening two games against Braga and Boavista, before coming up short just before the international break at home to Maritimo in a 3-2 loss.
That blemish has ensured fierce O Classico rivals Benfica currently top the charts so far, with the capital club boasting a perfect start. As too have Saturday’s opponents Sporting, who sit just below Porto in fourth but have only played two games.
The Lions have 35-year-old, former Portugal international Ruben Amorim at the helm and he will be determined to maintain his side’s faultless start to the season when he collides with the club’s ‘Big Three’ adversaries.
Porto completed the double over Sporting last season, including a 2-1 win on the road, but can the Dragons mirror that result and put early pressure on Benfica?
- Sporting (vs Portimonense): Adan; Neto, Feddal, Coates; Porro, Goncalves, Nunes, Mendes; Tomas, Vietto, Santos.
- FC Porto (vs Maritimo): Costa; Manafa, Mbemba, Pepe, Telles*; Oliviera, Pereira*, Otavio; Corona, Marega, Diaz.
Porto will be without Alex Telles and Danilo Pereira from the previous match against Maritimo as both players completed deadline day moves to Manchester United and PSG respectively. That could mean Liverpool loanee Marko Grujic gets the nod in midfield, while Felipe Anderson and Malang Sarr will be itching for starts after they both transferred over from the Premier League as well on a temporary basis.
Players to watch:
- Sporting: It has only been two games for the hosts, but back-to-back 2-0 wins will be an early sight to behold for Amorim and will certainly give his side confidence heading into this meeting. Four goals is a solid return in those games but the consecutive cleans sheets will be equally as important for the Sporting manager, and one player who has contributed in both areas of the pitch so far is Sebastian Coates. The former Liverpool and Sunderland centre-back never really found consistent form in the Premier League, but since moving to Sporting he has been a major success story. The 30-year-old now captains the side and has been at the heart of their early defensive promise, while also scoring in the opening game against Pacos de Ferreira. Goals, leadership and clean sheets, he will be imperative this weekend.
- FC Porto: On the opposite side of the pitch, Porto also boast a centre-back captain with experience and an authoritative presence. Pepe, now 37, continues to play an important role for both club and country, and will undoubtedly have a key say in this derby. No stranger to rivalries, having appeared in 23 El Clasicos for Real Madrid against Barcelona, not to mention the local Istanbul derby between Besiktas and Galatasaray during his time with the former, Pepe is certainly a man for the big occasion. Without the likes of Telles and Pereira, though, this will be one of the Portuguese’s toughest derbies to overcome.