Lions v Dragons: Porto can come unstuck away to rivals Sporting
Holly Thackeray | January 1, 2016
Sporting Lisbon v Porto
Can Porto get past poor away record?
It’s time for one of the most eagerly awaited clashes on Portuguese football calendars, Leoes v Dragoes or Lions versus Dragons, as Primeira Liga title rivals Sporting Lisbon and Porto battle in the capital.
This tussle between first and second spot, with the Dragons clinging on by one point at the summit, promises the chance for one of these sides to speed ahead. It may be too early to call it a league decider, but next closest silverware competitors Benfica are trailing table toppers Porto by five in the standings, which is a large lead in this league dominated by the big three.
Former Eagles boss Jorge Jesus has made his presence felt since surprisingly flitting across the bitter Portuguese capital club divide, but looks a great punt with Coral at 29/20 to take his Lions to the top of the table with a victory here.
Sporting have a superb recent history in this fixture, having lost just one of the last four fixtures across all competitions, and remain undefeated at home in the league this term. While, the visitors have not won at the Estadio Jose Alvalade since 2008.
There was a light stumble by the Lions last time out, though this was away from home comforts. It would be a first domestic defeat of the season for the Dragons, however, so a draw is just a tad more appealing at 2/1, with four of the last five in Lisbon ending evenly.
Mexican menace for guests
Julen Lopetegui’s guys still do boast plenty to trouble their hosts, however, and there are sure to be fireworks in this fray, particularly from the marvellous Mexican contingent.
Aztecs attacker Jesus Manuel Corona has been outstanding for the Dragons, with six in seven so far, so looks too good to miss out on at 2/1 in the anytime market, while he will be supported by crucial compatriots Hector Herrera (7/2) and Watford-owned Miguel Layun (4/1), who are handy with both strikes and supplying assists.
Though, Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar is still the Dragons’ main dangerman and the tastiest price for Porto at 11/2 to poach an opener.
Lions off the leash
Sporting also have their fair share of stars up front and, while Porto boast one of Algeria’s golden generation in Yacine Brahimi, the Lions will be relying on their own formidable Desert Fox forward in Islam Slimani, who is apparently being eyed by Premier League club Crystal Palace.
Sharpshooter and Lions top scorer Slimani is a nifty 9/2 to have the final say, while Sporting academy product Adrien Silva (3/1 to notch anytime) and former Liverpool playmaker Alberto Aquilani (9/2) have also been helping to spread the goal burden.
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