Our prediction for this Portugal League Cup match:
There will be fireworks when Sporting CP and Porto face each other at Estadio Jose Alvalade in the Taca de Portugal semis, first leg. The Lions dropped two points in a 1-1 draw with Maritimo in their last league fixture, but they are still in the race for the Primeira Liga title. Both Palhinha and Tabata are back from suspension, while both Pedro Goncalves and Pablo Sarabia are major doubts.
The Dragons, on the other hand, head into the match following a 1-1 draw with Gil Vicente. Porto are on the right track to regain the domestic trophy, but they have big ambition for the Taca de Portugal final stages as well. Anyhow, a close encounter is on the cards in Lisbon as Sporting are tough to beat at home. Stephen Eustaquio, who limped off with injury in the draw with Gil Vicente, is unlikely to feature in the first leg.
Highlighted Player (Sebastian Coates):
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on October 7, 1990, Sebastian Coates is a 196-cm-tall defender who plays for Sporting CP in Primeira Liga. Coates is the product of the hometown club Nacional, and it has to be noted that he scored eight goals in 60 appearances for the capital club in the national championship.
After ending his spell with English club Sunderland, the Uruguay international moved to Portugal, signing a loan deal with Sporting CP in January 2016. He signed a permanent contract with the Lions in February 2017.
Speaking of his international career, Sebastian Coastes made his full Uruguay debut against Chile at the 2011 Copa America. La Celeste won the trophy, with the team beating Paraguay 3-0 in the final of the competition at Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires. Coates wears the number 4 shirt at Sporting CP, and his preferred foot is right.
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.