- The Portuguese title is essentially on the line on Saturday, as first-place Sporting visits second-place Porto (3:30 pm ET) nursing a 10-point lead
- The Leoes could go 13 points clear of the competition with a win at the Estadio do Dragao, and take a massive step towards their first Primeira Liga title since 2002
- Get a breakdown of the two clubs, Saturday’s matchup odds and a few value picks below
Pundits and fans alike expected Sporting (17-3-0) and its young squad to fall back to earth at some point during the first half, but Ruben Amorim’s side has forged ahead — and now has a very real chance to all but secure the title on Saturday in this Porto vs Sporting match.
Three straight draws in league play have left Porto (13-5-2) clinging to very slim title hopes and locked into a real battle with Braga for the country’s coveted second Champions League slot.
Porto vs Sporting Primeira Liga Odds
|Porto vs Sporting||POR -0.5 (+118) | SPO +0.5 (-148)||POR +115 | SPO +230 | DRAW +225||Ov 2.5 (+128) | Un 2.5 (-157)|
Odds taken Feb 26 at DraftKings
There is plenty of recent head-to-head history between the two sides, with Sporting winning three Cup contests via penalties between 2018 and 2019; league play has been more favorable for Saturday’s hosts, with Porto undefeated in six Primeira Liga meetings (4-2-0) vs Sporting.
Porto: Last Kick at the Can
While Porto remains technically ‘alive’ in three competitions — the Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and UEFA Champions League — one could make the argument it is on life support in the latter, having conceded a critical away goal to Juventus and now facing a return leg trip to Italy.
Anything less than three points on Saturday would likely lead to a white-flag situation and turn the Dragoes‘ focus toward the Taça and UCL — coming up on March 3 (vs Braga) and Marh 9 (at Juve) respectively.
Five games without a clean sheet will be a concern for the hosts entering this matchup against a red-hot Sporting attack.
Porto vs Sporting Stats
|13-5-2, 2nd||2020-21 Primeira Liga||17-3-0, 1st|
|45 (2.25/game)||Goals scored||42 (2.1/game)|
|22 (1.1/game)||Goals conceded||10 (0.5/game)|
|Taremi / Oliveira (9)||Leading Scorer||Gonçalves (14)|
|W – W – D – D – D||Overall Form||W – W – W – W – W|
|16-16-9||H2H Record Since 2007 (W-L-T)||16-16-9|
Sporting: Chasing History
Sporting’s unceremonious Europa League exit to Austria’s LASK Linz back in October has been a blessing in disguise for Amorim’s squad, allowing it to focus on domestic competitions and thrive.
A Taça da Liga triumph over Braga last month has set the Leoes up for their first league-cup double since 2001-02, and with the squad strengthened in January — as opposed to stripped of talent, as was initially expected — it’s likely Lisbon will turn green come the end of the season.
After a rollicking, ‘Over’-happy start to the campaign, Sporting has settled into a pragmatic stretch marked by first-half goals and clean sheets — as well as an outlier, last-gasp win over Benfica in the Lisbon Derby.
Porto vs Sporting Best Bets
Make no mistake: Porto will come out with guns ablaze tactically — manager Sergio Conceicao’s team has to win in order to preserve any chance of engineering a second-half comeback for the Liga title.
Given the two squads are both averaging better than two goals/game in league play, Porto’s need to attack from the off and the fact both teams to score (BTTS) has hit in six of the last seven contests, the BTTS (-105) at near-even money is a strong play.
Additionally, with Sporting on two additional days’ rest and in better league form, a Sporting or Draw (-148) pick could be in play; Ruben Amorim’s team has confounded everybody by remaining undefeated and in first place to this point; why shouldn’t that theme continue?
Pick: Both Teams to Score (-105), Sporting or Draw (-148)
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