Nélson Veríssimo: “It’s a derby, it’s another Champions League game. If I had to bet, I would bet on Benfica’s victory”

Did Anfield give motivation for the derby?

“We have to be motivated for every game regardless of the opponents that we have. Now, we are aware that, not fulfilling the objective that was to move to the next stage, we gave a very positive response to an opponent with a quality recognized by all. We have to cling to that. As in all games, there were less good situations that we did, but we are aware that we did a lot of good things, both attacking and defending, against a powerful opponent like Liverpool. Now it’s time to carry that into the game with Sporting, an obviously very difficult opponent. It’s a derby, with different characteristics, but if we want to put it in terms of projection, it’s more like a Champions League game. We have to be at a very high level. Expectations are the best for tomorrow’s game.”


“Clinically, the situation is not easy. We’ve been doing everything to recover for tomorrow [domingo]. From my perspective, it is not yet a closed data that may not be, it will be difficult to be able. As I said in the preview of the game against Liverpool, Rafa is an important player, with unique characteristics, but we have players in the squad that give us more than enough guarantees to give a good response in the game tomorrow.”

Rúben Amorim said that Sporting’s responsibility for the victory

“In these games, in these derbies, the odds are 50/50. If I had to bet, I’d bet on Benfica’s victory. Naturally, we are aware of the opponent we face. The story tells us that rankings have little to say about what might happen later in the game. It will be an open game, with two teams wanting to do their best and looking for victory. It will be a competitive game. Our expectation, obviously, is to win tomorrow in Alvalade.”

If Benfica loses, it is out of second place

“What if we win? We are starting from the no-win point of view. So what if we win? We are aware of the difference between the third place and the second place. We know what that implies, what implies a victory and not a victory, but our mentality is to reach Alvalade and fight for victory. It is with this objective that we are going to Alvalade.”

Derby win softens season?

“No. The main objective was to win the national title. As soon as this doesn’t happen, it’s a failed season. I think all Benfica fans should be proud of what this team’s path in the Champions League has been. There are no moral victories, here’s the very positive response we gave in a competition in which Benfica hadn’t reached that stage for many years. That’s a positive record. It’s still too early to make assessments, there are five games left for the League. Our objective is to fight for the victory and win 15 points.”

Sporting more unpredictable to predict than in January?

“Above all, the game idea is there. The game idea exists to attack and to defend. Of course, depending on the individual options, you can change one dynamic or another. Compared to what was the game of [final da] League Cup, I remember that Sporting didn’t have Coates because they were in the national team, we didn’t have Otamendi, Darwin and Rafa. Meanwhile, Sporting has already made some signings, namely that of Slimani, which may give a variant on the offensive positioning, but the idea of ​​the game is there and well defined. It is up to us to have the best defensive dynamics to counter this offensive tendency that everyone knows Sporting has and, then, to value even more what our game with the ball is.”

Sporting no special plan to stop Darwin. And vice versa?

“The game idea is there, it’s collective, all players have an importance in what Rúben Amorim’s idea is, so we don’t have to worry about any player in particular. We have to worry about the offensive dynamics.”

Source: Expresso by expresso.pt.

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