Sporting Clube de Portugal will go into Monday’s game at home to Gil Vicente with an all-time high of confidence after now winning 8 games in a row.
Newly-promoted Gil Vicente are coming off a surprising Taça de Portugal exit at the hands of lowly II Divisão Zona Sul side SCU Torreense. The Barcelos based team, who are managed by former Sporting striker striker Paulo Alves currently sit 9th in Primeira Liga – a good position for a newly promoted side.
The last time the two sides met in Lisbon at the Alvalade was back on the 5th March 2006, Sporting took all 3 points that day due to 2 goals from on-loan player Koke (now of Rayo Vallecano).
Domingos Paciência will have a few head aches for his team selection this weekend after Thursday’s win over FC Vaslui. Ordinarily Paciência would start with Emiliano Insúa and Elias but due to the good performances from Evaldo Fabiano and Matías Fernández the two goalscorers against Vaslui may retain their positions. In particular Matías Fernández’s performance was excellent and he showed what he can truly be capable of as a player.
Fabián Rinaudo’s suspension after he was sent off in the 1-0 win against Vitória de Guimarães back before the international break means a likely return to a starting role for André Santos.
Oguchi Onyewu and Alberto Rodríguez both remain doubts, with Rodríguez the more likely of the two to make play but with a view of caution it may be that Daniel Carriço and Ânderson Polga keep their roles in the centre of defence.
The return of Jeffrén Suárez is getting closer and closer, it seemed like he may possibly make the bench and perhaps feature at some time.
Sporting could be set to make it 9 wins in a row for the first time since 2006 coincidentally a win over Gil Vicente featured in that run. That 2006 run of wins ended after 10 consecutive victories and when you consider the forthcoming fixtures up until the Derby de Lisboa on the 26th November. A winning sequence like this would ensure the team be confident and gain an advantage going into that first big game of the season.
Possible SPORTING XI:
João Pereira – Daniel Carriço – Ânderson Polga – Emiliano Insúa
André Santos – Stijn Schaars
André Carrillo – Elias – Diego Capel
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel