Our prediction for this Portugal Primeira Liga match:
There will be fireworks when Benfica and Sporting CP face each other in the Lisbon derby on Sunday evening. The Eagles aim to cement top position in the standings, but this match will be anything but a walk in the park for Roger Schmidt’s troops. Rafa Silva returns from suspension, while Joao Mario is back to the starting XI after coming as a substitute in the Taca de Portugal win over Varzim.
The Lions, on the other hand, failed to impress in a 1-0 loss to Maritimo, and even though key midfielder Pedro Goncalves is back from suspension, we are tempted to put our money on the hosts. Daniel Braganca and Hidemasa Morita continue to miss out with injuries. In their last meeting in the Portuguese top flight Benfica defeated Sporting CP 2-0, which is yet another reason why home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Julian Draxler):
Julian Draxler is arguably one of the most impressive footballers to have come out of Schalke’s youth academy in recent years and he spent ten years in the academy before he was promoted to the senior side in January 2011. The attacking midfielder soon started showcasing his skills at the biggest stage and just a year later received his first Germany call-up.
Draxler scored 18 goals in 119 league appearances for Schalke before moving to Wolfsburg in a high-profile deal in the closing stages of the 2015 summer transfer window. Despite his fragile age, the talented footballer has already made over 15 outings for the Germany national team, making one substitute appearance as Die Mannschaft went on to claim the 2014 World Cup trophy.
An exciting player capable of playing on either wing or through the middle, Draxler boasts a good goalscoring record and also regularly creates chances for his teammates, although he has yet to fully realise his potential.
Highlighted Team (Sporting):
When it comes to official club members, Portugal giants Sporting Lisbon are the sixth club in the world. Commonly referred to as Leoes which is Portuguese for Lions, Sporting Lisbon were founded in 1906 and are one of the founders of the Primeira Liga.
Sporting’s main rivals are Benfica, with both teams contesting the Lisbon Derby, one of the most fierce ones in Europe. Lions play their games at Estadio Jose Alvelade in front of 50,000 people and are the third most successful club in the country with 46 titles in Portuguese competitions and a title in the European Cup Winner’s Cup from 1963-64.
During this time that is also known as the club’s golden years, Sporting Lisbon won the majority of their 18 Primeira Liga titles in total. Sporting Lisbon boasts the quality football youth academy system which has yielded world-class footballers such as Paulo Furte, Simao Sabrosa, Nani and Ballon d’Or winners Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.