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Amorim: "I prefer us not to be favourites against SL Benfica"

By Sporting CP
03 Dec, 2021

The coach says he "believes in his team" ahead of the Lisbon derby

Sporting Clube de Portugal visit SL Benfica at the Estadio da Luz this Friday for a Lisbon derby on Liga Portugal Matchday 13, and coach Rúben Amorim previewed the game in his pre-match press conference.

He began by confirming that Jovane Cabral, Rúben Vinagre, Sebastián Coates and João Palhinha will all be out for the big game. Despite admitting that they are "players that are needed", Amorim assured that the side have the necessary talent to replace them.

"Everyone who is missing, due to the minutes and the characteristics they have, are difficult to replace. However, whoever comes in for them will be very capable. Everyone will have to lead the team in the game and we have to adapt to the characteristics of the players we have, which are different. Everybody is prepared", he added.

"The small details can change, but it won't be a big surprise. There were games without Coates or Palhinha that we won. In the last derby at Alvalade, we played without Palhinha and we won. The best Sporting CP will play, so let's look at the glass as half-full, for the project. There is nothing better than these games to blood these great players, who are young and have not been through these moments", he said.

He then analysed the game itself, and assured that the objective is the same as always: "It's a game against a great team with a very experienced coach, who have already had a year of work together. They have many solutions, and are very strong on second balls and between the lines. They can play with two forwards and Rafa Silva behind, or with Cebolinha between the lines. João has had a great season, Weigl has improved a lot... The defence doesn't concede many goals and the goalkeeper is having a great season. This will be a great team against another great team. We have our strengths and we obviously want to win".

On the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected several clubs and is what has prevented captain Coates from playing in the derby, he explained that the group have to "get used to living with this" and reinforced the importance of vaccination.

"We are vaccinated. Coates does not have any symptoms and that is the most important thing for us. We have seen that the vaccine works. It prevents serious symptoms and that is the main focus. For now, we have to safeguard ourselves and perform the tests. It provides more opportunities for others and more motivation for the squad".

Finally, the coach stated that he prefers not to be favourite to win.

"I really believe in my team, whoever plays. We are not favourites and this team likes it that way", he concluded.