Bruno Lage, the coach of Benfica, previewed, in a press conference held at Caixa Futebol Campus, the match from round 24 of the Liga NOS against FC Porto. The clássico kicks off at 8:30 pm on Saturday, at the Estádio do Dragão.
In the League Cup, it was a knockout match. Now it is not a knockout match, but it is a hugely important game. Do you expect a different match?
Yes, it is a hugely important game, but it is not crucial. Crucial is to be consistent and we have been consistent in the last two months, and we must stay that way. We won in the reverse fixture, still with the coach Rui Vitória at the helm, but we not able to be consistent and that is why the opponent is one point ahead.
Conceição launches Benfica’s possible starting XI. Which starting XI do you think that FC Porto will field? Do you have doubts about Marega?
More important than being here guessing the starting XI, is to think about the dynamics of FC Porto, regardless of the formation. They played against us in 4x4x2 in the League Cup; in the first Championship match, they played differently. They have alternated between the 4x4x2 and the 4x3x3. They are a very strong team collectively, with a very good defensive organization and offensively as well. We are ready, we have the various scenarios in mind.
What is your opinion of Sergio Conceição?
He is the National Champion, and he has a career in the 1st Division and internationally. He requires no introduction. I am just getting started.
Did you feel any special vibe from the players?
Tell me a game that has not been decisive since I took over? There isn't one. We must keep the balance, try to find our course and be consistent because that is what makes us win championships.
The two teams come from good results. None the less, who do you think arrives stronger to the clássico?
Both teams will play to win. On the pitch, whoever is better gets the three points.
What is your biggest fear of playing at Estádio do Dragão?
My fear of playing any game is always the same: we do not put into practice what we do in training. Playing at home or away, whatever the opponent, not putting into practice what we train is my biggest fear.
Text: Marco Rebelo
Pics: João Paulo Trindade / SL Benfica