Jorge Jesus
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All signs say Benfica will have best of Lisbon derby with Sporting

| 31.08.2014

Portuguese champions Benfica have won each of the last six Lisbon derbies with Sporting at home, and five of those by the same scoreline of 2-0. That is why they are odds-on with Coral for victory at 4/5, and a tempting 15/2 to record that precise result yet again.

Argentine trio Eduardo Salvio (5/2), Nico Gaitan (3/1) and Enzo Perez (7/2) have all grabbed goals in recent meetings between these capital clubs for Jorge Jesus’ Benfica, and must therefore be considered by the punters reviewing the anytime market.

Despite bringing a domestic treble of trophies to the Estadio da Luz last season, Benfica cannot be accused of resting on their laurels. Jesus has freshened things up in attack, allowing Paraguay target man Oscar Cardozo, so often the scourge of English teams in Europe, and Rodrigo Moreno, who once spent time on loan at Bolton Wanderers, leave.

In their place are Brazilian forward Delrey, a 5/4 chance to break his Benfica duck here, and ex-Manchester United winger Bebe, a 13/8 chance for a goal anytime. This is the third league outing for both Jesus’ side and Sporting, who have had a change of management this summer.

Leonardo Jardim was lured to Monaco, leaving Marco Silva, in turn poached from high-fliers Estoril, to take on his first big job. Defensive exits have followed, with Eric Dier (Tottenham) and Marcos Rojo (Manchester United) making Premier League moves from Lisbon. This, coupled with their dismal record across town, explains a 7/2 price for a shock away win.

Sporting have former winger Nani back on loan from Old Trafford, however, and he is 11/4 to grab a derby goal anytime. Just don’t bank on him taking penalties after his miss on his second debut, though.

Prized asset William Carvalho is still on Sporting’s books for now, but interest could intensify with the transfer window still open until 23:00 BST on September 1st. With Scottish summer signing Ryan Gauld relegated to the reserves by Silva as he tries to settle into life in Portugal, it’s to another winger Diego Capel and the strikers punters should look for goals.

They have been in short supply for Sporting in the fixture, with just three in the last eight derbies. Spaniard Capel is 4/1 to net anytime, while hot and cold Colombian frontman Fredy Montero was the last player to score for this side in encounters with Benfica, and is a 7/1 shot to be on target first.

For Silva’s Sporting, the biggest danger might be Algeria World Cup forward Islam Slimani, who will be hoping to build on two group stage goals in Brazil here. He is 9/4 in the anytime market, but it’s very hard to look past a Benfica win and their derby dominance continuing.

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Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.