MX23RW : Tuesday, June 15 09:30:45| >> :600:2377628:2377628:
Dec 5, 2020 at 6pm UK at Estadio Municipal 22 de Junho
FamalicaoFamalicao
2-2
Sporting LisbonSporting Lisbon
Assuncao (43'), Robert (89')
Campana (8'), Pereyra (45+3'), Riccieli (45+5'), Assuncao (69'), Babic (74'), Robert (83')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Goncalves (37'), Porro (45+4')
Goncalves (23'), Santos (45+5'), Palhinha (88'), Feddal (90+3')
Goncalves (80')

Preview: Famalicao vs. Sporting Lisbon - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Famalicao and Sporting Lisbon, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hosts Famalicao will have their leaky defence severely tested on Saturday evening, as they welcome Liga leaders Sporting Lisbon to the tiny Estadio Municipal 22 de Junho.

Highly-rated coach Ruben Amorim's Sporting side have started the season at a furious pace, with win after win stacking up since their disappointing Europa League exit in October.


Match preview

Sporting Lisbon manager Ruben Amorim pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Sporting's scintillating start to the 2020-21 campaign has stoked dreams that this may finally be the year they claim the Primeira Liga crown for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Amorim's side have won seven of their opening eight matches, dropping only two points in their 2-2 home draw to closest rivals Porto in October.

The Lisbon club reportedly paid a buyout clause of €10 million (£9m) to hire Amorim, along with his assistants Adelio Candido and Carlos Fernandes, from Braga last spring - only once has the club even paid a higher transfer fee for a player.

The investment - also one of the most substantial in management history worldwide - is already paying dividends, as the man who started his career with 10 wins out of 13 at Braga has led his new club out of the shadow of city rivals Benfica and Northern giants Porto.

Last week Sporting hosted and beat Moreirense 2-1 at Estadio Jose Alvalade, after surprisingly going behind in the third minute due to an own goal by Luis Neto. Just minutes later, man of the match Pedro 'Pote' Goncalves equalised before completing his brace and the win in the second half. That win saw the Lions rack up 22 points and stay well clear at the top of the standings.

Earlier, in the Friday evening kickoff, Saturday's opponents Famalicao had been defeated 2-0 by Pacos de Ferreira.

The home side took the lead thanks to a goal by South Africa winger Luther Singh, whose clinical 20th minute finish put Famalicao firmly on the back foot before Uilton struck the fatal blow with a strike from outside the penalty area shortly before the final whistle.

Famalicao were therefore left on just nine points from their eight games so far, which see them placed tenth in the top flight but only two points above Boavista in 17th.

Famalicao head coach Joao Pedro Sousa pictured in June 2020© Reuters

Under Joao Pedro Sousa - previously an assistant to Marco Silva in both Portugal and England - Fama continue to look vulnerable defensively, having conceded 16 goals from their opening eight matches in the Primeira Liga.

One of the more impressive contributors to their cause so far has been 22-year-old Bruno Jordao, on loan from Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers. The midfielder has made seven appearances for his temporary club in Liga Nos, contributing one goal away to Farense which was subsequently named October's Goal of the Month.

Jordao is just one member of a youthful dressing room - with an average age of 23 - which has been drawn from far and wide. Sousa, as yet, has been unable to mould his multinational squad into something resembling a cohesive unit though.

His daunting task on Saturday evening, then, could prove the toughest in his fledgling managerial career so far.

Famalicao Primeira Liga form: DDDLWL
Famalicao form (all competitions): DDLWWL

Sporting Lisbon Primeira Liga form: DWWWWW
Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions): WWWWWW


Team News

A general shot of Vitoria de Guimaraes vs. Sporting Lisbon in June 2020© Reuters

For the trip to Vila Nova de Famalicao, Sporting are without winger Gonzalo Plata and full-back Stefan Ristovski, who are both in quarantine.

Rubern Amorim's 3-4-2-1 setup should see lone striker Andraz Sporar supported by Nuno Santos and Pedro Goncalves, who was the goalscoring hero last time out, with exciting teenage talent Tiago Tomas ready to contribute from the bench.

Hosts Famalicao will be without goalkeeper Vana and ex-Porto centre-back Diogo Queiros, who both tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Former Fulham and Brentford striker Marcello Trotta should start in a front two with Spanish forward Ivan Jaime, while Bruno Jordao - on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers - is in contention for an engine room spot after dropping to the bench for last week's defeat.

Famalicao possible starting lineup:
Junior; Dias, Babic, Riccieli, Herrera; Jordao, Pereyra, Assuncao, Valenzuela; Trotta, Jaime

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Neto, Coates, Feddal; Palhinha, Mendes, Mario, Porro; Goncalves, Santos; Sporar


SM words green background

We say: Famalicao 0-3 Sporting Lisbon

Sporting have been relentless so far and there has been no indication that Ruben Amorim's winning machine will slow down yet.

Their potent strikeforce is backed up by young Lions such as Jovane Cabral and Tiago Tomas - too much for modest Famalicao to handle, even on home turf.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:curl


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Sporting Lisbon's Jovane Cabral pictured in June 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 34267165204585
2 34248274294580
3 34237469274276
4 34197853332064
5 34158114041-153
6 34137144436846
7 34127153744-743
8 341013113743-643
9 341010144048-840
10 34913122535-1040
11 34116173342-939
12 34106183657-2136
13 34812143949-1036
14 3498173441-735
15 34105192747-2035
16 34713142540-1534
17 34710173148-1731
18 3467213059-2925

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