Match Time：1/4/2018 05:30 Thursday (GMT+8)
Benfica: can put everything on the competition ( Recent Form: W D W D D )
Benfica had a moderate first half of the season. The calendar year 2017 was closed in third place and As Aguías (the Eagles) are already eliminated in all cup competitions. Especially the Champions League was a hell hike this season. In a group with Manchester United, FC Basel and CSKA Moscow, all games were lost and only one was scored. In both national cup tournaments the team of trainer Ruí Vitória is already eliminated. In the Portuguese Cup, Rio Ave was too strong in the eighth finals and in the last matches of 2017 meant draws against Setubal and Portimonense elimination in the Portuguese League Cup. Trainer Vitória is therefore also under considerable pressure in the Portuguese capital. Only the competition remains for the superpower. However, nothing has been lost yet for his team. The backlog of both leaders Sporting Lisbon and FC Porto is only three points. In the case of a home win against arch rival Sporting, the townsman is thus outdated. Because both competitors are still active in Europe after the winter and are still in the national cup competitions, it can be an advantage for Benfica for the title fight that it can only focus on the competition. It is not inconceivable that Benfica will stir up a lot on the transfer market this winter. The club received huge transfer fees for Ederson Moraes, Victor Lindelöf and Nelson Semedo last summer, but there were no major purchases. The fans expect a good quality injection this transfer period.
Sporting: working on best series since 22 years ( Recent Form: W W W W D )
Sporting is working on the best series in the Netherlands since the 1994/95 season. The 21 games that Os Leões (de Leeuwen) spread this season (15), the Portuguese Cup (3) and the Portuguese League Cup (3) yielded sixteen victories and five draws. The last defeat in their own country dates from the penultimate round of the previous season. Because of the beautiful series Sporting is for the first time in many years again in the race for the championship. The last time that the green winners were allowed to crown the best in Portugal, was in 2002. With a win on a visit to Benfica, the arch rival is put at a disadvantage of six points, a blow that trainer Jorge Jesus is only too happy to share to his former employer. Jesus has at least an almost fully fit selection at his disposal. Fabio Coentrão and Marcos Acuña are also fit enough to start against Benfica. Coentrão fell in the last game of 2017, when Sporting placed himself at the expense of fellow townsman Belenenses for the semi-final of the Portuguese League Cup. His injury is not serious, however. Incidentally, Bas Dost was elected as the team of the year 2017 by the website Maisfutebol. He is a vanguard in this with his colleague at Benfica Jonas. They scored thirteen and eighteen times respectively.
NOWGOAL BETTING VERDICT:
After all, although Sporting is in better shape this season, Benfica has the home advantage. In addition, it is a derby, so that everything can happen. I therefore dare not appoint a winner. I see more value in a bet on the number of goals. Benfica has to win in order to fully compete again in the title race and Sporting. Benfica will therefore seek the attack by the fanatical home crowd, while Sporting will play on the counter. For this they have the ideal players with Gelson Martins and Marcos Acuña. I therefore expect more than two goals.
Benfica VS Sporting Lisbon
Nowgoal Pick: Over 2.25 goals
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