Apparently for some sportinguistas this is the most important match of the season and some even claim that by winning it we would "save our season". Obviously I am not one of them and I can only feel sorry for people that think so. In fact I feel that even in the remote possibility that we win tonight this game will have very little importance in the overall picture of what has been so far the worst ever season I've witnessed by my club. I don't believe a win would "moralize" the squad and trigger a spectacular comeback. The only thing that could do that would be to have elections called as soon as possible and to see somebody with new ideas to take over the club.
Anyway, back to the big derby, I am not optimistic even if tradition gives us some good odds. Why? Because on the contrary to us, Benfica is stable, they have a balanced squad, they have a coach that knows Sporting much better than our own coach does and probably they will even have the ref on their side, even if that is probably not going to be necessary.
From our side we have fans going to the stadium more interested in jeering the players than in supporting them and a club in total chaos.
In spite of all this we are Sporting Clube de Portugal and my hope is that at least some of the players tonight realize what that means.
The starting line-up picked by Vercauteren is as follows:
Eric Dier - Boulahrouz - Marcos Rojo - Insúa
Elias - Rinaudo
Carrillo - Ricky van Wolfswinkel - Diego Capel
Bench: Marcelo Boeck, Cédric, Xandão, Gelson Fernandes, Izmailov, Labyad and Viola.