Leaders Sporting CP will look to tighten their grip on the Primeira Liga title when they host Santa Clara on Friday at 8:45pm (UK time).
Ruben Amorim’s men remain unbeaten after 21 games, winning 17 and drawing four so far in a run that has seen them go nine points clear of closest rivals Braga. Santa Clara, meanwhile, are seventh but just 10 points clear of Boavista in last place, such is the close nature of the Portuguese top-flight this season.
How to live stream Sporting CP vs Santa Clara online:
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Where to watch Sporting CP vs Santa Clara on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: GOLTV
Scoreline prediction: Sporting CP 3-0 Santa Clara
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Sporting CP vs Santa Clara build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Sporting’s quest for a first Primeira Liga title since 2002 is well on track, with the Lions nine, 10 and 13 points clear of Braga, Porto and Benfica, respectively. Their 0-0 draw with Porto last time out denied one of their closest challengers the chance to directly steal some points and with only 13 games to go (and just 10 goals conceded to this point) Sporting are seemingly unstoppable.
Santa Clara head to Lisbon off the back of a comfortable 3-0 win over Pacos de Ferreira, a result that lifts them to seventh in the table. However, things are tight in the Portuguese top-flight in 2020/21 and just nine points separate Daniel Ramos’ men from the relegation zone, while they’re only 10 points off the bottom. But the Azoreans will take heart in the fact they held Sporting to a 2-1 scoreline the last time these two sides met, with the league leaders only finding a winner through Pedro Goncalves in the 81st minute.
- Sporting CP (vs Porto): Adan; Inacio, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Mario, Palhinha, Mendes; Goncalves, Santos; Tomas.
- Santa Clara (vs Pacos de Ferreira): Marco; Sagna, Fabio Cardoso, Villanueva, Mansur; Carvalho, Morita, Lincoln; Crysan, Carlos, Allano.
Sporting will be without Paulinho for a couple of weeks due to a thigh injury but otherwise, Amorim has a full squad to choose from. Júlio Rodrigues Romão is out for the season for the visitors.
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Player to watch: Pedro Goncalves (Sporting CP)
He may have fired a blank in seven of his last eight games across all competitions, but Pedro Goncalves remains one of Sporting’s prime goal threats heading into Friday’s match. The 22-year-old midfielder has scored 14 goals in 19 Primeira Liga matches so far this season, with all of them coming from open play and 12 coming inside the box, proving his ability to arrive in the right place at the right time. What’s more, Goncalves knows exactly how to get the better of the Santa Clara defence, scoring both goals in Sporting’s 2-1 win in their previous meeting earlier this season.
Liverpool are reportedly tracking the man dubbed Sporting’s ‘new Bruno Fernandes’, who is thought to have a £53m release clause in his contract. Given the Reds’ poor form this season, Jurgen Klopp is likely to reshuffle his squad over the summer and if Goncalves can rediscover his goalscoring form from the first half of this season, there’s no doubting Liverpool and a host of other European giants will be queueing up for his signature. Given his earlier performance against Santa Clara, this match might just be the leg-up he needs to get back into the shop window.
Primeira Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Sporting CP: DWWWW
- Santa Clara: WLLWD
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