Preview: Sporting Lisbon vs. Porto

Preview: Sporting Lisbon vs. Porto

The Taca de Portugal returns with another top-tier fixture as two Portuguese powerhouses in Sporting Lisbon and Porto square off at the Estadio Jose Alvalade for a place in the final.

The Dragoes, who currently sit top of the Primeira Liga standings, will be seeking to end their two-game winless run and get one over the hosts, having failed to win any of the last five meetings between the teams.

With the Supertaca and Taca da Liga titles already in the bag, reigning Portuguese champions Sporting Lisbon are in the running for an impressive third domestic silverware for the 2021-22 season.

While they sit six points adrift of Wednesday’s visitors in the race for the Primeira Liga title, a win on Wednesday would see them place one leg in the cup final, where they could face either Tondela or second-tier Mafra.

Sporting Lisbon head into Wednesday’s game fresh off the back of a somewhat disappointing 1-1 draw with Maritimo when they squared off at the Estadio do Maritimo.

Braga loanee Bruno Xadas put the hosts ahead in the opening five minutes, but Algerian forward Islam Slimani opened his account for the club in the 38th minute to force a share of the spoils.

Ruben Amorim’s side now turn their attention to the Taca de Portugal where they have enjoyed an impressive run in their hunt for an 18th title triumph, claiming four wins from four, while scoring 12 goals and conceding just two in that time.

Porto, who are also seeking their 18th Taca de Portugal title, were held to a 1-1 draw by an in-form Gil Vicente side when they locked horns at the Estadio do Dragao last weekend.

Despite seeing Vitor Carvalho receive his marching orders in the third minute, Fran Navarro put the Gilistas ahead just after the hour mark before Brazilian forward Evanilson restored parity three minutes later.

This was a second consecutive draw for the Leoes, who bottled their lead in the final moments of the game before settling for a 2-2 draw with Italian outfit Lazio in the first leg of their Europa League round-of-16 tie.

However, they head into Wednesday’s game as one of the most in-form sides in the division as they are currently unbeaten in each of their last 16 games, claiming 13 wins and three draws since December’s 3-1 loss against Atletico Madrid.

Porto, who remain the only unbeaten side in the Primeira Liga, where they sit top of the standings with 64 points from 24 games, now turn their attention to the Taca de Portugal, where they have enjoyed a fine campaign, claiming four wins while scoring 16 goals and conceding two in that time.

While they will be seeking to keep this fine run going, next up is a stern test of going up against rival Sporting Lisbon, who they have failed to defeat in any of the last five meetings between the sides since a 2-0 victory back in July 2020.

Their last encounter came three weeks ago when Sergio Conceicao’s side fought back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw at the Estadio do Dragao courtesy of goals from Fabio Vieira and Mehdi Taremi.

Sporting Lisbon Taca de Portugal form:
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Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions):
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Porto Taca de Portugal form:
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Porto form (all competitions):
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We say: Sporting Lisbon 1-1 Porto (Sporting win on pens)
Wednesday’s game sees two of the “Big Three” in the Portuguese division lock horns once again and this makes for a nerve-racking and exciting watch. With both sides involved in disappointing draws at the weekend, we expect them to take the game to each other as they seek to quickly return to winning ways. With four of their last five meetings ending in draws, we are predicting a repeat of the same, with Sporting Lisbon going through to the finals on penalties.

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