After a near-miss in Portugal, Kev’s taking in one of the country’s biggest rivalries, and he’s backing Porto to overcome Benfica.
Porto can pick up vital win
Porto v Benfica
Thursday 30 December, 21:00
Live on BT Sport 3
With 83 minutes gone of Sporting’s win over Portimonense, we were on track with our Bet Builder. Sporting led 2-1 and were well ahead on corners, but the completion of Paulinho’s hat-trick tipped us over the 3.5 goals line.
We’ll take in a heavyweight clash from Portugal now, because Porto are up against title rivals Benfica, and we’re backing the hosts to take the win in O Clasico.
It’s been a chaotic time at Benfica recently, ending in the departure of controversial coach Jorge Jesus. His flirtation with his old club Flamengo and his capacity to fall out with players saw him reach the end of the road, and his exit was heralded by a joint press conference with club president Rui Costa. Nelson Verissimo has stepped up to lead the side.
On the pitch, Benfica were in good shape until they lost 3-0 at Porto in the Portuguese Cup, a game that saw the Dragons race into a 3-0 lead in the first 31 minutes, before successfully seeing out the entire second half with ten men. Given that Benfica also lost at home to champions and league leaders Sporting and were dismissed twice by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, it’s fair to conclude that they fall short against elite teams.
Porto crashed out of the Champions League against Atletico Madrid, but have responded with a four-match winning run. They have reeled off ten league wins in a row, and they know a victory tonight will move them level with Sporting at a the top. At the Dragao, they have won all seven of their league games.
Benfica are without the injured Darwin Nunez and the suspended Nicolas Otamendi, and it’s hard to see them avoiding defeat here. You have to go back to March 2019 for Benfica’s last win at the Dragao, and they have lost on three of their last four visits.
If you don’t want to back Porto at odds-on, you can use the Sportsbook to back a Porto win with an Under 4.5 Goals bet at 2.111/10. Only one of the clubs’ last 20 meetings has featured five goals or more.