With the Lisbon derby being played in two days, the Portuguese media is starting to hype up the expectations around Benfica and Sporting.
The Eagles are considered to be the favourites for this match, since they’re top of the table with 45 points, while the Lions are 4th with only 29.
Another factor that should weigh on Benfica’s side is that Sporting’s biggest star Bruno Fernandes could be moving to Manchester United before the match.
Today, Radio Renascença’s show Bola Branca interviewed former Sporting captain Carlos Xavier, who’s spoken about both topics.
The former midfielder has claimed that he doesn’t see such a big difference between Benfica’s and Sporting’s potential. And when speaking of Bruno Fernandes, he’s shown some confidence that even with a sale to Manchester United, the 23-year-old should be available to play on Friday.
“Having a player like Bruno on the team or not, the distance is huge,” Carlos Xavier told Rádio Renascença.
“Obviously Sporting, I think, were aware in this negotiation to count on him in this game. From there they can make a negotiation or make him available for other challenges. But I think he’ll be available to play this game.”
Bruno Fernandes | It’s complicated.
We’ve brought all the Portuguese claims together, still presented as imminent, player knows he could travel ‘at any minute’.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) January 15, 2020
Bruno’s presence in the derby has been mentioned by several newspapers this morning, with local outlets saying Sporting president Frederico Varandas has been working hard to have the player available on Friday, delaying a move to Manchester United.