Primeira Liga leaders Sporting CP welcome Moreirense for a showdown at the Estádio José Alvalade on Saturday evening (8.30pm kick-off).
The Lions are seeking a first championship since 2002 and have begun their 2020/21 campaign in strong fashion having gone unbeaten in their opening seven league outings and winning six of those contests.
Rúben Amorim’s men also boast their best attack and defence in the league, conceding only four times and registering 19 goals to date, meaning this weekend’s opponents have their plate full.
Moreirense currently sit 11 places below and visit the Portuguese capital having struggled in front of goal. However they boast the joint second-best defence. Can they upset the odds and register the first loss on Sporting’s record? Or will it be more of the same for the hosts?
Where to watch Sporting vs Moreirense on TV:
- UK: LiveScore App
- US: GOLTV
Where to live stream Sporting vs Moreirense:
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Sporting & Moreirense’s previous line-ups:
- Sporting (vs Sacavenense): Maximiano; Neto, Coates, Inácio; Antunes, Nunes, Mário, Borja; Jovane, Santos, Sporar.
- Moreirense (vs Rio Ave): Pasinato; Ferraresi, Rosic, Vitória, Figueiredo; Pacheco; Silva, A. Soares, F. Soares, Pires; Nuno*.
Sporting could be without top-scorer Pedro Gonçalves this weekend. Pedro Nuno and Pedro Amador are both out for the season with respective ACL injuries. Meanwhile, there are three other Moreirense players — Lucas Rodrigues, Matheus Silva and Abdu Conte — that are face late fitness tests.
Players to watch:
Sporting: The potential absence of midfielder Pedro Gonçalves (aka Pote), who is reportedly dealing with some physical discomfort, will undoubtedly throw a spanner in the works for Liga NOS leaders Sporting, as they have been more than grateful for his goals this season. Gonçalves presently is responsible for 37% of their Primeira Liga strikes. His ability to find the net from midfield is reminiscent of former Lisbon stalwart Bruno Fernandes and if he does miss out then manager Amorim will need those left behind to step up, most especially left winger Nuno Santos who has three goals and three assists to his name.
Moreirense: There’s no greater challenge than facing a team on top of their game and Moreirense enter the lion’s den aiming to not be another victim. If they are to leave with a result then it’s vitally important they win the midfield battle and in the shape of Fábio Pacheco they’ve got a warrior. The 32-year-old defensive midfielder relishes a battle and he’s been putting in strong numbers this season. Pacheco currently averages 5.3 tackles and 2.8 interceptions per 90 minutes played. He obviously can’t do it alone. It will take a team effort, but as we’ve often seen it takes one individual playing out of his skin that ultimately galvanises those around him.
Primeira Liga 2019/20 recent form:
- Sporting: WWWWD
- Moreirense: LWDDL
Scoreline prediction: Sporting 3-1 Moreirense
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