Our prediction for this Portugal League Cup match:
David faces Goliath at Estadio Pina Manique in Taca da Liga on Thursday evening. Portuguese giants Porto kicked off their Taca da Liga campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Santa Clara, and they will be looking to get their job done in Group D with yet another triumph. Seeing that Sergio Conceicao’s men were in action in the national championship on Monday evening, we are positive that the Portuguese tactician will mix the squad against Casa Pia.
Former Spartak Moscow attacker Ze Luis, who scored a wonder goal in the 2-0 win over Pacos de Ferreira, is likely to return to the starting line-up. The Segunda Liga side suffered a 1-0 loss to Chaves in their opener, and we do not believe that they are capable of matching the Dragons regardless of which players will be deployed in Porto’s starting XI.
Highlighted Player (Pepe):
Pepe is a professional footballer who plays for Porto as a defender. The Portuguese international played for Maritimo at the start of his senior career and in 2004 he moved to Porto. After making 64 league appearances for the Dragons, he signed a contract with Real Madrid in 2007 and he quickly established himself as a first-team regular.
Pepe is well known for his hard tackles and referees often show him red card. The Real Madrid centre back often played as a defensive midfielder under Jose Mourinho and it has to be noted that he scored five goals in all competitions in the 2013/2014 La Liga campaign.
The Portuguese footballer won his second Champions League trophy with Real Madrid in the 2015/2016 season and later in 2016 he helped A Selecao win the European Championship trophy. Portugal defeated France in the title game and Pepe played an important role in Fernando Santos’ team in the Euro 2016 final. The Real Madrid defender was born in Maceio, Brazil on 26 February, 1983.
Highlighted Team (Porto):
Futebol Clube do Porto are one of Portugal’s biggest football clubs playing their matches in front of 50,000 people at their Estadio do Dragao. Porto form biggest rivalries with two other Big Three clubs in Portugal and regular league title contenders – Benfica and Sporting CP. Rivalries between the clubs stem from the historical, political, economical and cultural discrepancies between the cities of Porto and Lisbon. The Dragons, as they are commonly known in Portugal, are the second most successful Portuguese team with a total of 74 trophies to their name.
Porto hold a record of five consecutive league titles which are part of the total tally of 27 Primeira Liga trophies. FC Porto’s success extends to the international scene as well with seven European titles. Two-time European champions from 1987 and 2004, Porto also won two UEFA Cup/Europa League titles, the UEFA Super Cup and the International Cup on two occasions. Together with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United, Porto have the most appearances in the UEFA Champions League group stage – the total of 20.