Sporting continue their Primeira Liga title defence when they visit Arouca on Saturday at 8:30pm (UK time).
The hosts are struggling in this season’s championship and find themselves sitting in 15th place after seven matches played. Meanwhile, the Lions currently trail early leaders Benfica but if results go their way this weekend, they can narrow the gap to one point.
Arouca vs Sporting live stream:
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Where to watch Arouca vs Sporting on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: GOLTV
Scoreline prediction: Arouca 1-3 Sporting
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Arouca vs Sporting build-up & previous line-ups:
It’s been a frustrating start to life back in Portugal’s top division for Arouca who, after seven matches played, sit fourth from bottom on five points. Armando Evangelista’s men also come into this weekend’s game with the champions on a four-game winless streak (two draws and two losses). Their only success to date came on matchday three when they picked up a 2-1 success over Famalicão who are rock bottom of the young championship. Saturday’s game will only be their ninth league meeting with Sporting and in those previous outings they’ve suffered eight defeats having only managed to score five goals and conceded 22 times.
It’s going to be an uphill struggle for Sporting to reach this season’s Champions League knockout phase after suffering a 1-0 loss at Borussia Dortmund earlier this week. They couldn’t have asked for a worse start in their European Cup comeback — one point from six available — after returning following a four year absence. As for their domestic championship defence, it’s got off to a somewhat modest start. Rúben Amorim’s men are third on 17 points and currently trail city rivals Benfica who are four points ahead. Both clubs, alongside Porto, are unbeaten heading into the eighth matchday and they come into this weekend’s showdown having tasted one defeat across their previous 20 league matches on the road (4-3 at Benfica in May 2021).
- Arouca (vs Moreirense): Castro; Esgaio, Basso, Ba, Thales; Silva, Moreira; Bukia, Pité, Arsénio; André Silva.
- Sporting (vs Borussia Dortmund): Adán; Carlos, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Nunes, Palhinha, Reis; Sarabia, Paulinho, Tomás.
Player to watch: Pedro Porro (Sporting)
It goes without saying that Sporting are missing last season’s most valuable player Pedro Gonçalves who is currently recovering from a foot injury. The 23-year-old forward began this season having registered three goals across The Lions opening four matches. In their last three Primeira Liga fixtures the Portuguese champions have netted three goals with Spanish wing-back Pedro Porro responsible for all of those efforts (scoring two himself and creating the other). Porro also comes into this weekend’s game having scored in each of Sporting’s last two matches which is something he’s never managed before. If anyone is capable of breaching Arouca’s defence then it’s Porro who currently averages 2.3 chances created per game – most by any Sporting player and the same as Gonçalves.
Primeira Liga 2021/22 recent form:
- Arouca: LDDLW
- Sporting: WWDDW
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