The official website for European football

Porto to test the Lions' pride

Published: Saturday 8 April 2006, 12.58CET
The Portuguese title could be won and lost at the weekend when Lisbon giants Sporting Clube de Portugal take on leaders FC Porto in the Liga 'clássico'.
by Hugo Pietra
from Lisbon

UEFA.com features

What teams need to get through
  • What teams need to get through
  • Watch the five best acrobatic Champions League goals
  • Ones to watch in the group stage
  • Masterclass: Xavi on passing and control
  • Newcomers ready for Champions League debuts
  • Pick of the Week of Football
  • Berezovski and Frick join Europe's 40-somethings
  • Europe's all-time top international goalscorers
  • Introducing football in Gibraltar ...
  • Given has 'unfinished business' with Ireland
1 of 10
Published: Saturday 8 April 2006, 12.58CET

Porto to test the Lions' pride

The Portuguese title could be won and lost at the weekend when Lisbon giants Sporting Clube de Portugal take on leaders FC Porto in the Liga 'clássico'.

The Portuguese title could be won and lost this weekend when Sporting Clube de Portugal take on leaders FC Porto in a Liga 'clássico'.

Sporting improvement
Since the arrival of coach Paulo Bento, Sporting have improved steadily with every match. Consistent in defence and powerful going forward, last season's UEFA Cup finalists have won their last ten league games, conceding just two goals, to move within two points of Porto. The northern side, however, are on a similarly impressive run. Five straight victories have come with as many clean sheets, to vindicate coach Co Adriaanse's decision to switch to a three-man defence. They will be the visitors on Saturday, but the pressure will be on the hosts to perform - a situation that could suit Porto.

Final hurrah
Sporting captain Sá Pinto will retire at the end of the campaign and would love to go out on a high with a 'clássico' win and a Portuguese title. "I would like to say goodbye as a Portuguese champion and I want to win against Porto," he said. "We need the three points in order to win the title." The 33-year-old is sure his side can deal with the occasion, saying: "We have been under pressure for 12 matches, including several 'finals'. We will be playing decisive games until the end of term. When you come to a club like Sporting you have to cope with pressure. We must be mentally strong."

Liedson fit
Sporting's major concern surrounds the fitness of Brazilian Liedson, but Sá Pinto insists a brief lay-off with an injured right thigh should not unsettle the striker. "He has been playing regularly and the two days he was out of training won't affect his performance," he said. Porto have confirmed that midfielder Lucho González will be ready after recovering from a twisted knee. César Peixoto, Tomislav Šokota and Bruno Moraes all have long-term injuries, while full-back Marek Čech is doubtful with thigh trouble.

Last updated: 08/04/06 21.59CET

Related information

Member associations
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/news/newsid=411895.html#porto+test+lions+pride

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.