Tomorrrow sees one of the ‘clasico’ games take place in the Primeira Liga, when Sporting Lisbon take on Porto at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Both teams have started the season in decent form, with Porto currently sitting second in the league with 11 points from five games and Sporting back in sixth place with nine points from their opening five fixtures.
The other superpower Benfica are top with 13 points from the same number of games played.
Sporting have become best known over the last decade for producing Portuguese talent, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani – who is now back at the club on a season long loan from Manchester United – and latest prospect William Carvalho all coming through the ranks.
Carvalho is a different player to the aforementioned academy graduates and has the potential to become one of the games top defensive midfielders.
Sporting also have the likes of Algerian striker Islam Slimani – who was a stand-out performer at the World Cup this summer – and goalkeeper and current club captain, Rui Patricio.
Marco Silva, who has replaced Leonardo Jardim – who thought with his wallet and jumped ship to Monaco in the summer – will be expected to make sure Sporting are successful again this season after coming runners-up last time out.
With the added pressure of Champions League football, this will be no easy task for the former Estoril man. Sporting don’t have the budget of the other two big Portuguese clubs and continuously need to punch above their weight.
Porto also have a reputation for producing very good players, with strength in their ability to pick up a bargain from South America and then sell them on in an inflated market. Radamel Falcao being the perfect example.
Though, this season it looks like they have taken a slightly different route with Julen Lopetegui – the highly successful former Spanish Under-21 coach – choosing to bring in young players from some of the top clubs around Europe.
The likes of Oliver Torres from Atletico Madrid, Christian Tello from Barcelona and Casemiro from Real Madrid have been added to a squad that already boasts the likes of Jackson Martinez, Yacine Brahimi and Ricardo Quaresma. This balance makes Porto possibly the strongest team in Portugal this season.
This will be the first time that both managers will be involved in such a big game and it will be interesting to see which side takes control, Sporting being the home team.
Porto have some very good attacking players and may go at their rivals early on. Although, Sporting are capable of beating Porto, especially with the home crowd behind them.
Kick-off at 20:30 BST.