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

Sports Mole previews Friday's Taca de Portugal clash between Belenenses and Sporting Lisbon, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sporting Lisbon will be looking to advance to the fourth round of the Taca de Portugal when they take on Belenenses in round three of the competition on Friday night.

The visitors are the joint-second most successful team in the history of the tournament and will be expected to progress relatively comfortably at the expense of their Campeonato de Portugal opponents.


Match preview

Belenenses have had to win one match to reach this stage of the competition, recording a 5-3 victory over Pero Pinheiro at the end of September, but it will be fair to say that there will be a huge step up in class here.

The home side, who separated from Belenenses SAD at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, play their league football in Campeonato de Portugal, which is the third division of Portuguese football.

Nuno Oliveira's side started their 2021-22 league campaign with a 5-1 win over Sacavenense at the end of August but have lost their last two against Ideal and Pero Pinheiro without scoring a goal.

As a result, Belenenses are seventh in their domestic table with three points to show from their opening three matches, but they hit five in the previous round of the Taca de Portugal and will now be hoping to provide one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition on Friday night.

Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim on September 28, 2021© Reuters

Sporting, meanwhile, are 17-time winners of this competition, which is the same as Porto, but Benfica are comfortably the most successful team in the history of the tournament with 26 trophies.

The reigning Portuguese champions last won this trophy in 2019, which was also when they last reached the final, and it will be interesting to see how serious they take the competition this term.

Sporting recorded a 2-1 victory over Arouca in their last game before the international break, which moved them onto 20 points from eight matches in the Primeira Liga, leaving them third in the division behind Porto and Benfica.

The Lions are also competing in the group stage of this season's Champions League, but they have work to do in their section, having lost their opening two fixtures to Ajax and Borussia Dortmund.

Ruben Amorim's side will view next week's Champions League clash against Besiktas as much more important than this game, but the Portuguese giants must still put on a professional performance on Friday night.

Belenenses Taca de Portugal form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Belenenses form (all competitions):

Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W



Team News

Pedro Porro in action for Sporting Lisbon in April 2021© Reuters

Belenenses boss Oliveira is unlikely to spring any major surprises with his team selection, meaning that the majority of players that started the defeat to Pero earlier this month should again take to the field.

The home side could line up in a 4-4-2 formation with Herlander and Cle operating in the final third of the field, while Andre Serra and Rui Pereira should also feature against the Green and Whites.

Bruno Botas has scored twice in three league outings this term and is also expected to be in the side.

Sporting boss Amorim will make wholesale changes to the side that took to the field for the league game against Arouca before the international break.

The head coach is likely to resist the temptation to name a team of youngsters, but the likes of Luis Carlos, Bruno Tabata, Tiago Tomas and Jovane Cabral are all expected to feature.

Ruben Vinagre and Zouhair Feddal should also come into the side for the visitors, with Pedro Porro and Pablo Sarabia among those likely to be handed a rest.

Belenenses possible starting lineup:
Valverde; Oliveira, Marinheiro, Frias, Medina; Serra, Antunes, Pereira, Botas; Herlander, Cle

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Calai; Vinagre, Feddal, Coates, Reis; Cabral, Ugarte, Tomas, Tabata; Nunes, Carlos


SM words green background

We say: Belenenses 0-3 Sporting Lisbon

Sporting will feel that they have bigger fish to fry at this stage of the season but must remain focused heading into Friday's contest. Belenenses will be desperate to cause a shock, but we are expecting the visitors to progress to the next round of the competition in routine fashion.

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Sporting Lisbon's Tiago Tomas celebrates scoring against Aberdeen on September 24, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Benfica98012051524
2Porto97202161523
3Sporting Lisbon97201441023
4Estoril PraiaEstoril9531147718
5Braga9441138516
6PortimonensePortimonense942386214
7Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes9342118313
8BoavistaBoavista92521111011
9Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira9243811-310
10Gil Vicente92341011-19
11TondelaTondela93061317-49
12Vizela9153714-78
13Maritimo9144711-47
14MoreirenseMoreirense91441017-77
15FamalicaoFamalicao91351014-46
16AroucaArouca9135816-86
17Santa ClaraSanta Clara9135618-126
18BelenensesBelenenses9054512-75

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