Teams: SPORTING CP & Portugal NT
Lions have a slight advantage in the derbies played in Alvalade
Benfica tries to avoid third consecutive defeat
Translated from Record
Sporting's victory on the 3rd round of the 2005/06 League broke the deadlock on their favour in the "tight" history of the derbies in Alvalade against Benfica, who will try from their side, to avoid the third consecutive defeat at their rival's venue.
If in the two previous seasons Benfica reached Alvalade with a very slight supremacy over Sporting, that scenario was turned because of Liedson, a forward that has been the great protagonist of the last confrontations with the "reds".
Two seasons ago, "O Levezinho" scored a brace on the win against Benfica (2-1) and on the last season he scored the goal that assured the same result, reinforcing the condition of main "butcher" of the Luz club in the most recent derbies between the two historical clubs from Lisbon.
Just before the 73rd match in Alvalade, the fourth at the new Sporting stadium, the hosts "win" in the history of results, with 29 games won, against 28 of Benfica, and also in goals, with 112 scored against 106 allowed.
In spite of the Lions' advantage, the numbers prove that the "home factor" hasn't been relevant in Sporting's receptions of Benfica, that gave origin, for example, to two of the most unforgettable games in the history of the competition: nobody will ever forget the 7-1 of 1986/87, in Manuel Fernandes' afternoon (4 goals), or the 3-6 of 1993/94, in the evening of João Pinto (3 goals).
These are also two good examples of the absence of logic in the derbies in Alvalade, because in 1986/87 Benfica was champion with only one defeat, and in 1993/94 everything pointed at Sporting would win and grab a title that was escaping from them since 1981/82.
These were not, however, the only unbalanced scores, as the Lions had two other massive victories - 6-1 (1946/47) and 5-1 (1948/49) - and the Eagles already won in three other times by 3 goals - 4-1 in 1936/37, 1941/42 and 1997/98.
The recent history already shows two matches that were famous for the fact that Benfica delayed Sporting's title, by beating them 1-0 in 1999/2000, with a goal by the Egyptian Sabry, and by drawing 1-1 in 2001/02, in a game in which the Lithuanian Jankauskas put the visitors in front and that the Brazilian Jardel leveled on added time.
In spite of the fact that many scores escaped from the predictions, the majority of them contributed to the reigning balance: 13 wins to Sporting and 12 to Benfica by the minimum margin of one goal and still 15 draws, on a total of 40 games (55.5%).
In the last 10 years there is an equality of five wins for each side and only one draw (1-1), that one of 2001/02 with goals of Jardel and Jankauskas.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”