Sporting CP faces Braga in the Portuguese Super Cup final. The match will be played on Saturday, July 31st at Estádio Municipal de Aveiro (Aveiro)
Sporting CP made history in the last championship. The Lions won the national championship for the first time since the 2001/02 season. Sporting has ended Porto’s and Benfica's 19-year hegemony and secured a spot in Pot 1 before the draw of the UEFA Champions League group stage. Beyond that, the Lions won the Portuguese League Cup for the third time in the last four seasons. In the offseason, the Green-Whites do without expensive transfers. Sporting parted ways with João Pereira and another veteran defensive player, Vitorino Antunes. In addition, midfielder Josip Misic left for Dinamo Zagreb. So far, only two defensive players have arrived in the camp of the Lions: ex-footballer of Braga Ricardo Esgaio and Ruben Vinagre. The latter was loaned from Wolverhampton, and he spent the last six months at Famalicao. Before the start of the new season, Sporting has played four friendly matches since mid-July. The Lions tied against Portimonense (2-2) and beat Belenenses (2-1), Angers (2-0) and Lyon (3-2).
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Braga finished last season in triumph. For the first time since 2016, the Archbishops have won the Portuguese Cup. In the final match, Braga dealt with Benfica in Coimbra (2-0). The Arsenalists have won this trophy for the 3rd time in history. Previously they did it in the 1965/66 and 2015/16 seasons. In the transfer market, Braga is still working more on sales. In the offseason, defenders Ricardo Esgaio, Bruno Wilson, and Lucas Cunha, midfielders Samu Costa, Sadas, and Nico Gaitan, as well as winger Murilo de Sousa left the camp of the Archbishops. Instead, Braga has found three new players: midfielders Lucas Mineiro and Tiago Esgaio and striker Mario Gonzalez. Braga came out of vacation much earlier than Sporting. Since the beginning of July, the club has played eight friendly matches. Moreover, they have not suffered a single defeat (four victories and four draws). In the last game, held on July 24 in Braga, the hosts coped with Pacos de Ferreira (2-1).
In 1982, the opponents were already fighting for this trophy. Then the winner was determined in a two-legged confrontation. Braga won the first game at home with a score of 2-1, but Sporting hammered the Archbishops in the return leg (6-1). As for the upcoming final, the Lions have a higher chance of winning. They have excellent statistics of previous head-to-head matches against the Arsenalists. Unlike Braga, Sporting has retained most of the roster and will be more coordinated, which will help to achieve victory, if not in the regulation, then in extra time.
Prediction for the match: Sporting to win with 0.0 handicap