Sporting CP v Pacos de Ferreira takes place on Thursday at 9:15pm (UK time).
The Portuguese Primeira Liga returns from its World Cup break this week and Sporting CP face an uphill battle, currently third and losing out on a Champions League spot, behind Benfica, Porto and Braga. For Pacos de Ferreira, with the second half of the season comes the start of their battle against relegation, still bottom of the table with just two points from 13 games.
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Sporting CP team news
Sporting had four players at the World Cup but all had returned by the time of the club’s 5-0 win over Braga in the quarter-finals of the Taca da Liga. Sebastian Coates and Manuel Ugarte both started in that victory while Issahaku Fatawu was an unused substitute. Hidemasa Morita was the only absentee from Sporting’s World Cup stars having returned from the tournament with an injury, and he remains on the sidelines along with Daniel Braganca, Luis Neto and Sotiris Alexandropoulos.
Pacos de Ferreira team news
Pacos de Ferreira were unhindered by the World Cup so had a full-strength squad during the group stage of the Taca da Liga. Luiz Carlos, however, was a casualty of the group stage suffering an injury – which has been the story of his season so far. He made a return in the final game, a 2-0 defeat to Braga, and will be hoping to be available this week.
There will also be a new face in the dugout for Pacos de Ferreira, with Jose Mota sacked following the Taca da Liga exit – but his replacement is yet to be announced.
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Scoreline prediction: Sporting CP 3-0 Pacos de Ferreira
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