Domingos Paciência will know that there needs to be a much improved performance against Beira-Mar in Aveiro after Thursday’s hugely disappointing goalless draw with Nordsjælland.
There will be some familiar faces to see for Sporting fans in the Beira-Mar side. Cristiano, the player who was brought in by Paulo Sérgio back in January but failed to impress, André Marques, who is still on loan at the club and Hugo, the defender who was at the club from 2000 to 2006, winning the League and Cup double back in the 2001/2002 season. The team as well is managed by Rui Bento, who spent 3 years playing in a Sporting shirt.
Beira-Mar managed a relatively good 0-0 draw away to Marítimo in their first game.
Paciência has a few selection problems too now, Jeffrén Suárez is a massive doubt after picking up a thigh strain and missing Friday training meaning Diego Capel is likely to start his first game for Sporting. Bruno Pereirinha will also be a big doubt after he was ruled out of the Europa League game and of course, Valeri Bojinov and Luis Aguiar are still out. Stijn Schaars has presumably recovered after swallowing a bug and being sick against Nordsjælland.
Most would agree that Evaldo Fabiano, Yannick Djaló, and Hélder Postiga have been the team’s weakest performers in the first two games of the season. Although it is unlikely that Atila Turan will be chosen ahead of Evaldo, Yannick and Postiga face possibly losing their place in the starting XI.
Matías Fernández returned as a substitute last time out so he may well be pushing for a place as is Marat Izmailov, the goalscorer against Olhanense last weekend.
It remains to be seen about the situation regarding Daniel Carriço who has missed both of the two first opening games. Ricky van Wolfswinkel is another who has failed to make a competitive appearance yet so far this season as Diego Rubio has been the first option as a replacement for the misfiring Postiga.
Last season in this corresponding fixture Sporting only managed a 1-1 draw at the Municipal de Aveiro. João Pereira was the scorer that day for Sporting with Renan Garcia scoring for Beira-Mar, Renan is now part of the large Portuguese-speaking contingent at CFR Cluj in Romania.
The team has come under a lot of pressure following the first two games, especially the the toothless draw in the Europa League so a result here will be very important for Domingos Paciência. Should he fail to win then the pressure on him will increase whereas should he win then most of the pressure will be eliminated. Sporting fans must remember this is almost an entirely new team and will need more time to gel.
Possible Sporting XI:
João Pereira – Daniel Carriço – Alberto Rodríguez – Evaldo Fabiano
Fabián Rinaudo – André Santos
Marat Izmailov – Stijn Schaars – Diego Capel
Ricky van Wolfswinkel