Finally the international break is over and it’s back to watching Sporting once more. This Saturday (20:00 kick off) Sporting will travel to take on third-tier side Famalicão.
Opponents Famalicão currently sit 10th in the II Divisão Norte with 1 win, 3 draws and 1 defeat thus far, they progressed to this stage in the tournament after beating União da Madeira on penalties in the last round.
The last time the two teams faced each other in Taça de Portugal was just under a decade ago, Sporting traveling to the Municipal 22 de Junho in Vila Nova and winning 3-1. Robert Špehar and Alberto Acosta grabbed the goals for Sporting that day.
Sporting look to make it 7 wins in a row – and it seems Domingos Paciência will make sure it happens as he looks to field a relatively strong side against the minnows. Paciência told the press “normally that [fielding a weakened team] is what happens when taking on a team from a lower division, but we can’t just go making as many changes as people would like us to”
It makes the possible selection a more difficult matter to predict. The likes of Tiago, Marcelo Boeck, André Martins and Santiago Arias are yet to play a single first team game all season and this would seem like their best chance to try and fight for regular first team action.
Jeffrén is close to recovery but will probably not play this weekend and be saved perhaps for the Europa League game at home to FC Vaslui next Thursday. Besides the absence of Marat Izmailov Domingos has almost a fully fit squad to work with.
It should be a routine win for Sporting and a great way for the squad to reconnect after the international break and find the momentum that had been established before the break..
Possible SPORTING XI:
Santiago Arias – Ânderson Polga – Daniel Carriço – Evaldo Fabiano
André Santos – Elias
Bruno Pereirinha – Matías Fernández – André Carrillo