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Taca de Portugal | Final
May 26, 2024 at 5.15pm UK
Estadio Do Dragao
Sporting Lisbon

2 - 1
Sporting Lisbon

Evanilson (25'), Taremi (100' pen.)
Mario (37'), Varela (66'), Pedro (90+1'), Conceicao (97'), Conceicao (103'), Evanilson (104'), Hjulmand (106')
Conceicao (98')
St Juste (20')
Santos (30'), Gyokeres (39'), Braganca (78'), Neto (81'), Paulinho (109'), Otavio (110')
St Juste (29')

Preview: Porto vs. Sporting Lisbon - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Taca de Portugal clash between Porto and Sporting Lisbon, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two Iberian Peninsula powerhouses butt heads with the Taca de Portugal trophy at stake on Sunday evening, as Porto and Sporting Lisbon reunite at Estadio Nacional in the 2023-24 final.

Sergio Conceicao's men are the two-time defending champions, having come up trumps in the 2022 and 2023 editions, whereas Sporting have not hoisted the trophy aloft in five years.

Match preview

Porto coach Sergio Conceicao reacts on February 21, 2024© Reuters

Forced to settle for an unfamiliar third-placed finish in the 2023-24 Primeira Liga campaign, Porto's name will not be on the list of Champions League attendees for the 2024-25 season, as Sporting and Benfica represent the nation in the revamped premier tournament next term.

Ranking outside the gold and silver medal positions for the first time since Conceicao took charge, Porto must settle for Europa League football in 2024-25 on account of finishing eight points worse off than runners-up Benfica, while champions and upcoming foes Sporting held an advantage of 18 over them by the close of Primeira Liga play.

Also going down to Benfica in the final of the Portuguese Super Cup, Porto could end the campaign without a single trophy next to their name, but Taca de Portugal history is on the side of the Dragons, who are gunning for their third straight title and 20th overall in Oeiras this weekend.

Since an agonising 3-2 defeat to Braga in the 2020-21 semi-finals, Conceicao's men have astonishingly won each of their last 20 matches in Portugal's top knockout competition and also ended the top-flight campaign with a flourish, earning 13 points from the last 15 on offer.

Chaves, Boavista and Braga all fell victim to Porto's supremacy in their three May matches, and not since the 2018-19 edition of the Taca de Portugal have the Dragons fallen short at the final hurdle, although it does not take a genius to guess who condemned them to the runners-up medals that year.

Sporting Lisbon head coach Ruben Amorim pictured on April 6, 2024© Reuters

A fair share of grovelling was done by hitherto in-demand Sporting boss Ruben Amorim, formerly head-hunted by Liverpool and West Ham United and going as far as to fly to London and hold talks with the latter, leading to him issuing a public apology to the Lions fanbase.

All should have been quickly forgiven when the 39-year-old led Sporting to a dominant Primeira Liga title triumph with a staggering 90 points on the board, and a first league and cup double since the 2001-02 campaign could now be clinched at Estadio Nacional.

Not resting on their laurels even with top-flight glory assured, the Lions ended the league season on a three-match winning sequence against Portimonense, Estoril and Chaves - scoring seven goals and conceding zero - and Amorim's men have only failed to keep a clean sheet in one of their last seven matches.

A nervy 4-3 aggregate semi-final win over Benfica punched Sporting's ticket to the 2023-24 Taca de Portugal final, where the Green and Whites will endeavour to become champions for the 18th time in their history, and they took four points from a possible six off of Porto in the recently-concluded Primeira Liga season.

Furthermore, Sporting have emerged victorious on two of the previous three occasions when Porto have stood in their way of Taca de Portugal final glory - clinching their most recent crown in 2019 thanks to a penalty-shootout triumph - while also winning the 2008 showpiece 2-0 after extra time.

Porto Taca de Portugal form:

Porto form (all competitions):

Sporting Lisbon Taca de Portugal form:

Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions):

Team News

Porto defender Pepe on November 7, 2023© Reuters

A pair of ACL victims are currently the only definite absentees for Porto boss Conceicao to take into account for Sunday's final, as defensive duo Ivan Marcano and Zaidu Sanusi are still on the long road back to full health.

However, the Dragons are also sweating over the fitness of 41-year-old captain Pepe, who has been missing for the last few weeks with an Achilles problem, but he is supposedly fighting tooth and nail to be fit for the blockbuster battle.

Pepe has been named in Portugal's Euro 2024 squad, suggesting that his issue is not overly severe, but Ze Pedro is primed to partner Otavio at the back if the Porto captain - already a four-time Taca de Portugal winner - is forced to watch from the sidelines.

Sporting's fitness concerns also lie at the back, more specifically in between the sticks, as goalkeepers Antonio Adan (muscle) and Franco Israel (knee) are both in the infirmary, leaving 19-year-old Diogo Pinto to command the Lions' penalty area.

Amorim has every single one of his outfielders available for the final, though, including highly-rated Danish midfielder Morten Hjulmand, believed to be on Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United's summer wishlists.

Daniel Braganca and Hidemasa Morita will scrap it out for the right to start alongside Hjulmand in the middle, while Arsenal and Chelsea target Viktor Gyokeres has struck a joint-high six goals in this year's Taca de Portugal, contributing to his remarkable overall total of 43 from 49 games.

Porto possible starting lineup:
Costa; Mario, Ze Pedro, Otavio, Wendell; Pepe, Gonzalez, Varela, Galeno; Evanilson, Taremi

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Pinto; Inacio, Coates, Diomande; Esgaio, Morita, Hjulmand, Santos; Trincao, Gyokeres, Goncalves

SM words green background

We say: Porto 0-1 Sporting Lisbon

Blessed with the free-scoring Gyokeres up top and a near-unbreakable three-man defensive wall protecting the embroynic Pinto in goal, Sunday's final is surely Sporting's to lose, in spite of Porto's penchant for success in this tournament.

Conceicao's men can also cut incredibly staunch defensive figures when it matters most, meaning that it may take just a solitary goal to decide the destiny of the crown - one which ought to come the way of Amorim's men.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Group A

1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

1 Denmark Denmark00000
2 England flag England00000
3 Serbia Serbia00000
4 Slovenia Slovenia00000

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands11003
2 Austria Austria00000
3 France France00000
4 Poland Poland10010

Group E

1 Belgium Belgium00000
2 Romania Romania00000
3 Slovakia Slovakia00000
4 Ukraine Ukraine00000

Group F

1 Czech Republic Czech Republic00000
2 Georgia Georgia00000
3 Portugal Portugal00000
4 Turkey Turkey00000

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