BOOKINGS boff Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) is back to attack the big match in Portugal on Sunday evening.
Porto v Benfica | Sunday 18:00 | BT Sport 2
O Classico ‘The Classic’ takes place in northern Portugal on Sunday evening as the top two sides, Porto and Benfica, clash at the Stadio do Dragao.
Two of the big three sides, historical rivals and north versus south. It all adds up to what should be an intriguing occasion.
The visitors from Lisbon currently hold a five-point advantage over Porto and the hosts will probably see this fixture as ‘must win’, even at this early stage of the season.
Porto are marginally the more ill-disciplined outfit but those stats count for little ahead of a proper showdown between the top dogs.
Artur Dias is the premier Portuguese referee these days and he gets the whistle for this battle. Dias has covered the last two meetings between these two, averaging 7.00 cards per-game.
In four league matches so far this season he has shown total cards of 5-6-5-6. Again, though, those stats are largely irrelevant in this fixture.
Interestingly, he has given a penalty in three straight games. I doubt he has the balls to make it four on the bounce, mind.
The past five meetings between these two clubs have seen total cards of 6-8-9-6-6 – an average of 7.00 total cards per-game.
There will be petulance, niggle and simulation aplenty in this game and six cards looks like a minimum number, even with a referee who will be desperate to keep a lid on things.
There hasn’t been a sending off in the past five meetings so perhaps one is due? SkyBet offer 6/4 on a red card occurring at any time and 2/1 it happens in the second-half.
With passions surely running high on Sunday, I’m backing Over 6.5 Cards at 4/5 with Bet365.
Porto v Benfica – Over 6.5 Cards (4/5 Bet365)