Benfica and Porto are part of a three-way tie along with Sporting Lisbon atop the Primeira Liga table heading into their Matchday 15 encounter. The Classico rivals enter the match knowing it could very well have a lasting impact of the title chase.
The Aguias have been playing well as of late, winning each of their past three matches across Liga and Champions League play, including a 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain last month. They have to hope they can carry that momentum into the new year.
Porto are a talented side that's been streaky throughout the campaign. The Dragoes have endured stretches of play where the attack struggled to produce consistent chances, especially in November, but they hope that probably will be rectified in the second half of the season.
Let's check out all of the important viewing information for the crucial Primeira Liga clash, followed by a preview and match prediction.
Where: Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal
When: Sunday, Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. ET (4 p.m. GMT)
Watch: BBC One
Live Stream: BBC Live
Match Odds (via Bovada)
Top Storyline: Can either club score three key points in the title chase?
While both sides will enter the match with hopes of earning all three points, it's probably actually more important to make sure they don't lose. The last thing either club wants is starting to dig a hole they will have to get out of during the rest of the campaign.
So it wouldn't be a surprise to see a very conservative approach by both sides, at least for the first half. They aren't going to send extra players forward, play too high of a line or take any unnecessary risks that could lead to a goal at the other end.
Instead, Benfica and Porto will likely try to control the pace and rely on sustained buildups to create chances. Then, after halftime, things should get a little more interesting, but it's still unlikely to become an all-out attacking battle.
Despite the expected style of play from both sides, UEFA passed along comments from Benfica manager Jorge Jesus, who's expecting a terrific match:
If anybody is going the break through, it will probably be Benfica's Lima or Porto's Jackson Martinez. Both players have displayed good form and have the one-on-one skills it's probably going to take to score in a clogged final third.
That said, even that potent duo will have a hard time finding the space they need to work their magic. It's one of those matches that could ultimately get decided by a lucky bounce, but otherwise don't expect many offensive fireworks unless one team scores early to open things up.
The goalkeepers, Artur of Benfica and Helton of Porto, don't figure to see a ton of action throughout the match, but the times they are called upon will be crucial. One goal is all it will likely take to change the course of the match and potentially the league.
Ultimately, it's unlikely to become the most exciting Classico in the rivalry's history, but it should be a good, hard-fought match that remains close throughout. In the end, it wouldn't be a surprise to see both sides walk away satisfied with a scoreless draw to remain on pace atop the table.
Benfica 0, Porto 0
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