This Friday, Rúben Amorim will play his 75th game as Sporting coach against Benfica. Coates missed six. In other words, he played 92 percent of Amorim’s lion-to-chest games.
The Greens and Whites were only beaten in one of these six games, albeit inevitable: 1: 5 with Ajax for the Champions League. Incidentally, they triumph over Mafra (2-0), V. Guimarães (1-0), Belenenses SAD (0-4), Famalicão (2-1) and Varzim (2-1), the last three counting for the Portugal Cup and league cup.
Palhinha returned to Sporting in early 2020/2021 and has played 90 percent in 57 of the 63 games the team has played since then. Of the six games in which he was absent from the team, the Lions lost only two: Sporting-LASK (1-4) of the Europa League 2020/2021. Aberdeen (1-0), Paços de Ferreira (2-0), Portimonense (2-0), Belenenses (4-0) and Varzim (2-1) won.
So there were two games in the Ruben Amorim era in which Sporting did not have Palhinha and Coates at the same time. He won both: 2-1 against Varzim and 4-0 against Belenenses SAD. It’s just a clue because these two Lions opponents don’t have the sporting weight of Benfica today.