After almost three weeks of break, the championship returns with Benfica, in third place, one point away from the leading duo, again waiting for a slip of ‘dragons’ and ‘lions’ and with the obligation to win at the Estádio Nacional, home of Belenenses SAD.
With 29 points, the same as Sporting, FC Porto host Vitória de Guimarães on Sunday, already aware of the results of the two Lisbon rivals.
Sérgio Conceição’s team will try to add the seventh consecutive victory in the I League, in a match in which the Spaniard Iván Marcano is out of bounds due to injury, and in which Pepe is also doubtful after being injured during the defeat against Liverpool (2-0), in the Champions League, on Wednesday.
This season, Vitória de Guimarães, ranked seventh with 16 points, has only one away win in the league and, in the last decade, they have not lost only once at Estádio do Dragão, in 2018/19, when they won 3- 2, at the time with Luís Castro in command, while Conceição was already leading the FC Porto team.
The match is scheduled for 20:30, after Sporting had faced Tondela, ninth, at Estádio José Alvalade (18:00), four times after having ensured the qualification for the round of 16 of the Champions League.
Like FC Porto, Rúben Amorim’s team can also achieve their seventh straight win in the league, in what will be the last game of the ‘lions’ before traveling to Estádio da Luz, on the next round.
For this reason, in addition to being forced to win, Sporting is also ‘forbidden’ to lose players to a duel with Benfica, either through injury or punishment. Jovane Cabral and Rúben Vinagre are certainly low in the Lisbon team, due to physical problems.
Despite the comfortable ninth place, Tondela arrives at Alvalade as one of the worst teams to play away from home in the current edition of the I League, with four defeats and only one triumph, but in the last six years they have drawn three times in the ‘Lion’ field (2-2 in 2015/16, 1-1 in 2016/17 and 1-1 in 2018/19).
On Saturday, Benfica will go to the Estádio Nacional to face Belenenses SAD, second from bottom of the competition with just eight points and a victory in 11 games, in a match in which Jorge Jesus’ team has all the favoritism.
The ‘reds’, who like Sporting are ‘prohibited’ from losing players to the derby on December 3, reach this stage of the season practically at full strength, with central Lucas Veríssimo, with a serious injury, being the only one low in the usual holders of Jesus.
Already with a change of coaches this season, with Petit and leaving and Filipe Cândido entering, Belenenses SAD urgently needs points to not go further down the league table.
Another highlight is the debut of Vasco Seabra in charge of Marítimo, who fired the Spaniard Júlio Velázquez after the defeat against Tondela (4-2) in the last round. Madeirans receive on Sunday the Paços de Ferreira.
The round starts on Friday, with Moreirense, a team that is just one place above the relegation zone, equal with Belenenses SAD, receiving Gil Vicente, who remains in a quiet eighth place, and ends only on Tuesday. This fair, with Sporting de Braga, who cannot let Estoril Praia get away even further in fourth place, playing Vizela at home.
Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by www.futebol365.pt.
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