Sporting will be looking to advance into the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal on Thursday night as they host Marítimo in the quarter-final.
Sporting have beaten Belenenses, Braga and Famalicão to get this far where as Marítimo have got past Benfica, Juventude, and Beira-Mar.
The last time the two faced each other this season at the end of August with Marítimo’s three goals cancelling out the goals of Marat Izmailov and Jeffrén Suárez. When both teams met in their last Taça de Portugal clash back in 2001/2002 (the year Sporting won the trophy) the game went to extra time. Sporting had to come back from behind twice thanks to goals from Dimitris Nalitzis and André Cruz with a 93rd minute João Pinto goals putting Sporting into the final that year.
Marítimo are currently about to finish a tough run of fixtures, a look at their last 3 fixtures shows a taça win over Benfica, liga loss to Benfica and another liga loss to Porto. Marítimo have been having a very good season so far and Pedro Martins’ men currently sit 5th in the liga just 3 points behind Braga and 5 behind Sporting.
Domingos Paciência’s men will be wanting to bounce back from the disappointing 1-1 draw away to Académica last weekend. Elias will miss the game due to his suspension after being sent off in that Académica game. Although Marat Izmailov, Matías Fernández and Jeffrén have returned to some training recently they will almost certainly miss out for the the upcoming taça game.
The match will be Sporting’s last of 2011 with just under two weeks until Sporting’s next game after that, the Taça de Liga clash away to Rio Ave before the huge game against Porto after that.
Possible SPORTING XI:
João Pereira – Oguchi Onyewu – Ânderson Polga – Emiliano Insúa
Daniel Carriço – Stijn Schaars – André Martins
André Carrillo – Ricky van Wolfswinkel – Diego Capel