Porto's chances of winning a second straight title rely on beating one of their bitter rivals where they have struggled the most. The Dragons have failed to win at José Alvalade Stadium since October 2008, and the coach is yet to win his first game when visiting Sporting. Even so, the tactician still believes that Sporting will go out in deep need of a win if they want to keep their title hopes alive.
"The difference in points will be crucial, that's why people look at it. When the ref blows his whistle, that difference will fade away, so we will need to battle a tough opponent with the urge and desire to win it," Conceicao said.
The Dragons boosted their defense with Pepe this week, and even if the 35-year-old defender had not played for a while, Conceicao praised his fitness levels and availability, which earned him a spot in the roster for Saturday's clash.
"It's nice to work with a player that carries that resume around. It's fantastic to have him here, especially after he told me that he wants to compete for a spot. He's not here to retire, and that is excellent news for us. Now, it's up to him to get in our gear and we'll decide if he plays or not," the coach added.
Conceicao admitted that he gas almost a full squad to choose from, with Otavio and Aboubakar as the only confirmed absences.
Sporting CP vs Porto Broadcast Information
Stadium: Estádio José Alvalade (Lisboa)
Netherlands: Ziggo Sport 14, Ziggo Sport Extra, Ziggo Sport Select
Portugal: Antena 1 - RTP, Sport TV1
United States: fuboTV, GOLTV, GolTV Espanol