Portuguese champions Benfica will welcome Porto to Estadio da Luz tonight at 20:00 (CET).
It is the third matchday of Portuguese Primera Liga and we already have the first big derby ahead of us, as title contenders Benfica and Porto go head-to-head in Lisbon.
Benfica are heading into the game in fantastic form, having won both league games in the new season, with a goal difference of 7-0.
They also won the Portuguese Super Cup, also known as Supertaca Candido de Oliveira, beating cross-town rivals Sporting Lisbon 5-0 at the Algarve Stadium.
Porto have had a turbulent start of the 2019-20 campaign. They lost 2-1 to Gil Vicente in the opener, got eliminated from the Champions League qualifiers by Krasnodar and thumped Setubal in the league last week, thanks to Ze Luis’ hat-trick.
The hosts will definitely miss Nigerian defender Tyronne Ebuehi and Brazilian midfielder Gabriel, both of them through injuries.
Youngster Gedson Fernandes is a huge doubt for Benfica’s head coach Bruno Lage, while Portuguese forward Pizzi is expected to lead the attacking line, having scored in all three games in the 2019-20 season.
— SL Benfica (@slbenfica_en) August 22, 2019
Porto will travel to Lisbon without Sergio Oliveira due to injury. However, Sergio Conceicao doesn’t have any other injury concerns before their encounter with the reigning champions.
What did the managers say
Benfica boss Bruno Lage says he wants to watch a great game, but his only concern is to win the derby match with FC Porto this weekend.
“I would like to watch a great match just like it was the FC Porto-Benfica for the League Cup and the FC Porto-Benfica for the Championship [last season],” he said at a press conference.
“Two excellent games! One victory for FC Porto, one for Benfica, but I point out the game quality and everything that happened before, during and after the games.
“Our only concern is to win the match. I don’t care about records. I believe that no team loses nothing at this early point (round 3). At this moment the most important thing is to be focused on our work and get ready to win. We just ignore the rest.”
— FC Porto (@FCPorto) August 23, 2019
Sergio Conceicao was happy after Porto’s win against Victoria Setubal, saying it was a good ending of a tough week for his players.
“I don’t usually do this, but it was a complicated week for us, especially emotionally, as we are not used to losing. That was our biggest difficulty for this match, managing our emotions, but we did it,” he said via Porto’s website.
“We started the match on top and we knew that Vitória de Setúbal could play differently from usual. We were aggressive, strong, and pressing, while also creating several goal opportunities.”
“Every match is difficult. The next one is against a rival and we are going to prepare it in the best possible way to go there and get the three points.”
Benfica won the game 1-0 when the sides met each other in the Primera Liga last season. However, Porto won their last encounter at Estadio da Luz, beating the Eagles in the Portuguese League Cup last January.
Porto’s 1-0 defeat to Benfica was their only one on the road in the Portuguese League in the 2018-19 campaign.
Benfica scored at least two goals in nine of their last 10 home games across all competitions.
The Eagles finished the 2018-19 season with 63 goals scored on 17 league games at the Estadio da Luz. That’s an astonishing average of 3.7 goals per game.
Their games against Porto are not so efficient though, as we’ve seen three or more goals only on three occasions from their last 11 games across all competitions.