FC Porto-Benfica classic for the 1st spot

Dragons and eagles are separated by only one point.

Saturday’s classic between FC Porto and Benfica at Estádio do Dragão has a privileged view of the title, 11 days from the end of the 1st Liga, with the two great candidates separated by a point.

In the 24th round, ‘dragons’ and ‘eagles’ seem to have less and less competition between the other teams in the league, namely Sporting Braga (third) and Sporting (fourth), who are already at eight and 11 of the lead, respectively.

On Saturday, at 8:30 p.m., there is another chapter of the classic, at a time when FC Porto is only leading by a point, at a time when it reached seven, in the worst phase of Benfica and took at the beginning of January to the dismissal of Rui Vitória.

The entry of Bruno Lage, promoted coach of the B team, ‘pushed’ Benfica to eight consecutive wins in the league, at a time when FC Porto conceded three draws (Sporting, Vitória de Guimarães, and Moreirense).

Benfica de Lage’s only draw came precisely with FC Porto, but in the League Cup semi-finals in Braga, with the ‘incarnates’ losing 3-1 in a controversial match in refereeing.

On Saturday, on Matchday 24, to play at home, FC Porto should be ‘strengthened’ for the big test, with a predictable return to Brahimi’s ‘eleven’, with Danilo and Marega also recovering from injury and orders of Sérgio Conceição.

The Malian striker, who injured in early February, was a 3-0 substitute for Braga for the Portuguese Cup on Tuesday, and Danilo also started on the bench and entered. In relation to the last round, also can return Soares and Militão.

In the ‘eagles’ Bruno Lage has an enigma to solve: if the young Florentino stays in the midfield, together with the Brazilian Gabriel, or if Samaris is returned, used the midfielder in the absence of Ferro, expelled in the 22nd round.

The Benfica coach will once again have available Ferro, the center that went to look for team B after the injuries of Jardel and Conti, as well as right-back André Almeida, who failed to thrash Desportivo de Chaves (4-0) on Monday, to meet the penalty to a fifth yellow.

With their eyes almost all on Saturday at the Dragon, the Sporting ‘Braves’ of Braga and Sporting just enter the field on Sunday.



Braga, who visit River Ave (9th), are in their worst moment of the season, after two consecutive defeats in the First League, the first in Alvalade (3-0) and the second at home against Belenenses (7. 2-0, and one more in the Portuguese Cup, a scenario that had not lived since the end of the 2016/17 season.

Sporting, who have already won the League Cup this season, continues to show great irregularity. With a good victory against Braga, they were eliminated in the Europa League, with Villarreal, and a ‘null’ in Barreiros, with Marítimo.

The ‘lions’ could have capitalized more on the Sporting defeat of Braga, in approaching third place in the championship, at a time when they are practically estranged from the title race.

On Sunday, from 20:00, the team measures forces in the José Alvalade stadium with Portimonense (10th), who lost in the first round but is also not well without winning five games in the First League, with four defeats and a draw.

Still, in this round, the surprising Moreirense (5th) receives on Saturday Vitória de Setúbal (13th), equips a point above the descending zone, and Vitória de Guimarães faces (6th) at home Marítimo 12), two points away from the relegation line.

In the danger zone, the teams of Feirense (18th) remain, without winning 21 games, from Desportivo de Chaves (17th) and Desportivo das Aves (16th).

The team of Santa Maria da Feira faces off on Sunday the Belenenses (7th), while the Chaves receives on the same day the Santa Clara (8th). The Sport of the Birds opens the day on Friday, with the reception to Boavista (11th).

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