January 2014 Transfer Window Round-Up

It was a busy transfer window for Sporting that went right to the last few seconds, here’s recap of the comings and goings of the January window:

Transfers In:

The transfer of Shikabala was completed just seconds before the closing of the transfer window. The terms with the player had been agreed early on in the day and the player had passed a medical before the transfer looked off due to complications with the player’s former club, Zamalek. Sporting were able to just make the transfer of the mercurial Egyptian playmaker in time with Sporting to pay approximately €500,000 to the club.

Shikabala has a contract until 2018 with a transfer release clause of €45,000,000 and will early the number 7 shirt.

Earlier on in the day Sporting also completed the transfer of Héldon Ramos from Marítimo for a fee of €1,400,000. An earlier bid by Sporting for both Héldon and Rúben Ferreira was turned down by Marítimo but the club were able to secure the transfer on deadline day.

Héldon has a contract until 2019 with a the familiar release clause of €45,000,000 and will be wearing the number 20 shirt.

Sticking with Marítimo, Sporting also agreed terms with Leocísio Sami to join the club for free at the beginning of the new season. Sami is out of contract with Marítimo this year but no word yet on the details of the contract.

That’s not all for what was a busy transfer deadline day, as Matías Pérez joined up with the B team. The Paraguayan central-defender from Club National will be on loan for 18 months at the club with Sporting have an option to buy in the future.

One big deal that was overshadowed perhaps was the completion of Fredy Montero’s transfer from Seattle Sounders. There was plenty of speculation that another club could snap up the Colombian forward but Sporting have made the deal permanent.

Elsewhere there was  the surprise signing of Ousmane Dramé on a free transfer from Padova to reinforce the B team. He will be another attacking option after the signing of Lewis Enoh from Sourense was completed just before the transfer window opened.

There was no departure for wantaway midfielder Elias with the club failing to agree terms with Flamengo and other interested clubs. For now the player is eligible to play for Sporting but that seems an unlikely outcome, the player will still be training with the B team, and it is likely that he can still move to Brazil where the season doesn’t begin until March.

Victor Golas also returns from his uneventful loan spell at Corona Braşov and will likely fight for his B team spot with Mickaël Meira and Luís Ribeiro.

Transfers Out:

The two big departures of the winter window were that of Jeffrén Suárez and Zakaria Labyad.

The former has rescinded his contract to join Real Valladolid. The club will save a massive €7.2m in future contracts to the player.

The latter, Labyad, was loaned out to Dutch club Vitesse where he will spend 18 months on loan with the club again saving money from the Moroccan’s wages.

A deal that was the most mutual was that of Fabián Rinaudo going on loan to Italian side Catania. The Argentine midfielder was finding it difficult to play any football due to the supreme season of William Carvalho. The midfielder was rewarded with a new contract as Sporting wish to keep hold of the midfielder if possible.

The only other permanent deal away from the club was that of Alexandre Guedes who joined Catalan club Reus Deportiu but there were plenty of other loan deals:

João Mário and Betinho to Vitória de Setúbal
Diogo Salomão to Deportivo de La Coruña
Salim Cissé to Arouca
Tobias Figueiredo to Reus Deportiu
Nuno Reis to Cercle Brugge

So it was in all a successful winter break for Sporting. The money saved from the wages of Zakaria Labyad and Jeffrén Suárez covering all of the signings into the club with some leftover.

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Transfer News 29/01/14

There’s plenty of transfer news to catch up with after a busy few days…

Ousmane Dramé completed his free transfer to Sporting from Padova, where the player with the “troubled” past will begin with the B team. Dramé has a contract until 2018 with a release clause of €45,000,000.

Sporting are also on the verge of signing Egyptian forward Shikabala from Zamalek. The talented, if controversial, 27-year old is set to fly to Lisbon ahead of a medical before signing a contract tomorrow.

Sporting also bid for two Marítimo players, 25-year old Cape Verdean Héldon Ramos and 23-year old defender Rúben Ferreira. Marítimo president Carlos Pereira stated that Sporting’s bids were “ridiculous”.

That may not be all for Sporting. According to A Bola the club are set to complete an 18-month loan signing of Elton Monteiro from Clube Brugge. The Portugal U19 central defender will serve as reinforcements for the B team. Monteiro spent his youth career at FC Sion and Arsenal before moving to Belgium.

Tobias Figueiredo and Alexandre Guedes with both be leaving the club to join Spanish Segunda División B side CF Reus Deportiu. Tobias Figueiredo’s move will be loan until the end of the season whilst Alexandre Guedes will be joining the club permanently. Sporting will receive 40% of Alexandre Guedes’ future transfer fee.

Stick with Spain, Jeffrén Suárez is still no closer to move away from the club but has been recently touted with a move to Rayo Vallecano or Real Valladolid. There is also interesting from the MLS with Sporting Kansas City.

Transfer News 23/01/14

Another round-up of the latest transfer news and rumours…

With Atlético Mineiro dropping out and China seemingly no longer an option, Elias is getting closer and closer to signing with Flamengo. The two clubs are apparently almost ready to complete the deal with a figure being stated at around €5-6m for 50% of the player. Indeed, Flamengo are hoping the deal can be finalised today.

Nuno Reis looks set to leave for Cercle Brugge now on a permanent deal. The B team captain, who was one of many to get sent of against Leixões yesterday, is keen on the move. The stumbling block is that Sporting want €1m for the centre-back so instead a long term loan deal with an option to buy maybe favoured instead.

Betinho is another player who could leave Sporting B – but only on loan. Like João Mário and Salim Cissé who have both left for more competitive first team football the same may happen to Betinho. Although that would leave the B team light in attacking options going forward. Although the breakthroughs of Matheus Pereira and Daniel Podence could ease that situation.

Elsewhere Rayo Vallecano seems to be the only club interesting in signing Jeffrén Suárez. The player does want to leave for Rayo but the two clubs have yet to agree on a transfer fee for the player.

André Carrillo is reportedly ready to leave and double his wages at Stade Rennais.

Transfer Round Up 2013: Departures

So, that’s the transfer window done and dusted and all around there’s quite a few positives for the club, Bruno de Carvalho and Sporting fans.

In a nice two-part post let’s look at the departures from the club before we get to the good stuff:

Gael Etock to Cercle Brugge (loan): There was initially some confusion as to whether or not this move was a loan or a permanent deal. Judging by the fact that the Belgian club’s website states his contract is until 2014 we’ll assume that this is a loan deal. Cercle Brugge is essentially our feeder club, after all. Etock was called up to a few of Jesualdo Ferreira’s first team squads last season but could only make the bench some more competitive team football may well be what he needs.

Renato Neto to Gent (loan): I had though perhaps that Renato Neto may get some B team action this year but he has been sent to Gent on loan again for another season. The Brazilian midfielder still has a contract with Sporting until 2015 so still has a chance to make an impact at the club when he returns.

Gelson Fernandes to Freiburg (€500,000): He must definitely won’t be missed. Failed to produce much in his stint with the club and was loaned out to FC Sion as soon as possible.

Farley Rosa to FK Sevastopol (?): Initially Farley Rosa looked rather good for the U19 team. Some may remember his fantastic goal against Liverpool at Anfield in the NextGen tournament. He couldn’t force his way into the B team last year and was moved on to Ukrainian club Sevastopol. No idea about any fees involved (I assume there was at least something) as this was not a widely reported on transfer.

Luís Cortez to Belenenses (?): A similar case here to the Farley Rosa transfer. Another youngster who showed some promise but perhaps just wasn’t good enough to make the grade at the Alvalade. At Belenenses he may have hoped to get some first team football was immediately loaned out to SC União Torreense.

Miguel Lázaro to Vitória FC (?): 18-year old goalkeeper who made the transfer to the other side of the river to join Setúbal.

Miguel Lopes to Lyon (loan): The French club have an option to purchase the right-back for €10,000,000 should they want to. The main reason for this loan is Miguel Lopes’ high wages (thanks again, Godinho). He had a fairly solid end to the season although nothing spectacular.

Stijn Schaars and Santiago Arias to PSV Eindhoven (€1,600,000): Stijn Schaars’ sale is another transfer that aimed to reduce the wage budget although last year he was not nearly as good as he was in his debut season. The price is perhaps a little low when you consider how promising Santiago Arias looked at times whilst still being very young. Hopefully the club has inserted a % of future sale clause in his contract.

Sunil Chhetri to JSW Bangalore (?): Sunil Chhetri barely got a look-in at Sporting B last year and the entire transfer seemed like a ploy by Godinho Lopes to try and get some interest from Indian investors or tap into the market there. Neither or those worked and we also got a player who was not very good. No word on the transfer fee (if any).

Valentín Viola to Racing Club (loan): Viola returns to the club he calls home to Racing Club (he has a tattoo of the club’s crest on his arm). The Argentinian forward never impressed to much at the Alvalade scoring just 2 goals in 28 games. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t not make his return to his old club permanent after the loan deal is done.

Jorge Chula to Marítimo (free): Signed as an addition to the B team, Jorge Chula never managed to impress too much. A solid player that should do just fine at Marítimo instead.

Leandro Grimi to Godoy Cruz (?): Leandro Grimi looked very promising once upon a time after first arriving at AC Milan. He never managed to build on that and he has moved permanently to the club where he was on loan last year. No word on any fee but I imagine not much if anything.

Nii Plange to Vitória Guimarães (free): Nii Plange was signed essentially to fill out the ranks of the B team last year. The Burkinabé / Ghanian isn’t a bad player and will probably do ok at Guimarães and indeed Sporting will receive 50% of any future transfer fee.

André Santos to Vitória Guimarães (free): We all had high hopes for André Santos but it seems his development stalled and now was perhaps the perfect time for him to leave the club. André Santos’ contract was terminated with the club so he was free to move on.

Atila Turan to Stade de Reims (free): Turan looked promising when he first signed for Sporting from Grenoble Foot 38 but couldn’t manage to force his way into the team and spent most of his time out on loan. Sporting will receive 40% of any future transfer.

Tiago Ilori to Liverpool (€7,500,000): A hugely talented prospect but Ilori’s demand for higher wages meant he was likely to leave the club. Liverpool had long been interested and finally managed to get their man for a fair fee. Included in the contract is a clause that will mean Liverpool cannot sell the player to either FC Porto or Benfica

Danijel Pranjic to Panathinaikos (free): I was hopeful when Sporting signed Danijel Pranjic that would be a great addition to the squad… how wrong I was. Pranjic failed to make any sort of an impact at the club and he was free to leave for Greece.

Diego Rubio to Pandurii (loan): The club that is now best known for knocking out Jesualdo Ferreira’s Braga out of the Europe League have taken Diego Rubio on loan with an option to buy for €10,000,000. Rubio arrived in Portugal from Chile with huge promise but needs some more competitive football to try and fulfil it.

Zezinho to Veria FC (loan): Zezinho looked like he was just about to break into the Sporting team at the end of last season and had a few rather good showing in midfield (especially against FC Porto). The club have decided to give him a loan to Greece where he should be facing a higher level of competition more regularly then he would with the B team. May well help improve his development.

Bruma to Galatasaray (€10,000,000): Finally. The saga ended. Bruma played just 13 games for Sporting but from what you would have read in the papers you’d be forgiven for thinking he had been at the club for a decade. Bruma took some bad advice and failed to worm his way out of his contract to move away from the club. After the entire debacle with the courts there was no way back for Bruma at Sporting. Indeed, Bruno de Carvalho will happy to have received such a substantial offer for a player who would have been able to sign for any other club for free in January. On top of the initial transfer fee there are also €3,000,000 worth of future add-ons as well as a similar clause in the contract to that of Tiago Ilori that ensure Galatasaray cannot sell the player to Porto or Benfica.

Khalid Boulahrouz released: YAY!

EDIT: Victor Golas to Corona Brasov (loan): A very late move sees Sporting B goalkeeper to Romanian side Corona Brasov on loan. The move will see Luís Ribeiro and Mickaël Meira compete for the B team spot.

Total profit from player sales (estimated): €20,100,000

Perhaps some of the most important pieces of business over the summer now is those who didn’t go.

Rui Patrício: How on earth we kept Rui Patrício, I don’t know. It helped that Bruno de Carvalho had made sure any bids would have to be substantial and, considering Patrício’s talent, fair. There were rumours of Monaco, Arsenal and a whole host of other big spending clubs but nothing came of it and São Patrício remains saving our asses for another year.

Diego Capel: Although very talented Diego Capel seemed likely to leave with his high wages and Sporting hoping to make some sort of money out of the Spanish winger but the transfer window shut before any deal was made. There seemed to be various clubs interested from Liverpool to Olympique de Marseile but, for now, Capel stays.

Jeffrén Suárez: The disappointing Jeffrén stays at the Alvalade for another season. A mix of injury, high wages and some poor performances made it likely that the winger would leave but despite interest from a host of La Liga club no deal was made. A stint in the B team maybe likely as he becomes back up to André Carrillo, Wilson Eduardo, Diego Capel and even Diogo Salomão.

Zakaria Labyad: Still only 20 but Zakaria Labyad did not seem to be anyway near the level we may have expected from him last season. Frequently wasteful or anonymous Labyad couldn’t find a first team place although his technical talent is without question. Labyad’s high wages meant to club were keen to get rid of him and sent him to the B team. The player had flirted with the likes of PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, and a few other Dutch clubs but nothing came of it.

Evaldo: How is he still here? The club did try to cancel Evaldo’s contract but the player did not want to and so will stay for at least another season and pick up some more money. Evaldo will now become back up to Jefferson, Welder and perhaps Mica.

In tomorrow’s post we look at all of our new signings as well as all the many players who were handed new long-term deals at the club.

Sporting’s Europa League Group Stage Squad Announced

Sporting’s squad for the group stage for the UEFA Europa League has been announced on the UEFA website. The full squad with B team members is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Victor Golas, Luís Ribeiro
Defenders: Daniel Carriço, Xandão, Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo, Cédric Soares*, Tiago Ilori*, Emiliano Insúa, Tobias Figueiredo*, Michael Pinto*
Midfielders: Stijn Schaars, Marat Izmailov, Zakaria Labyad, Fabián Rinaudo, Adrien Silva, Bruno Pereirinha, André Martins, Danijel Pranjić, Kikas*, Edelino Ié*, Filipe Chaby*, João Mário*, Luís Cortez*, Elias, Gelson Fernandes, Zezinho
Forwards: Jeffrén Suárez, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Diego Capel, Valentín Viola, André Carrillo, Carlos Mané*, Iuri Medeiros*, Ricardo Esgaio*, Bruma*, Betinho*

(* – Players with an asterisk are on the ‘B list’)

Match Report: SPORTING 5-0 Vitória de Guimarães

A superb Sporting performance gave the Lions a 5-0 win at home to Vitória de Guimarães last night that will serve as a springboard for Thursday’s forthcoming match against Manchester City.

With that game in mind Ricardo Sá Pinto made changes to his squad leaving out Daniel Carriço and Emiliano Insúa with Evaldo Fabiano and Elias taking their place in midfield.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel opened the scoring after just 20 minutes with Sporting firmly on top after Matías Fernández fed the Dutchman. It was van Wolfswinkel’s first goal in open play in 2012 and the look of relief on the striker’s face was evident.

Sporting went into half-time one goal to the good and firmly on top of the game in what a half in which they dominated possession and should have had a larger lead going into the interval.

It took just 5 minutes for Sporting to grab a second after the interval when a poor clearance from Bruno Teles fell to the feet of Matías Fernández, the Chilean who has been in a rich run of form lately, slotted home to double Sporting’s advantage. Guimarães offered little going forward and the goal looked like it would kill the game off even with 40 minutes left to play.

Good play from Nuno Assis dispossessing Elias in his own half resulted in an excellent chance for Edgar to get the visiting side back into the game but Rui Patrício did well to save.

Nuno Assis’ next contribution was not so impressive as he foolishly tripped Ricky van Wolfswinkel in the penalty area. Marat Izmailov was the man to step up and smashed the ball straight down the centre to put Sporting 3-0 up.

Another highlight for Sporting was the excellent return for Jeffrén Suárez. The former Barcelona man came on in the 79th minute in place of Marat Izmailov and impressed everyone by scoring a late brace.

The first was a superb strike on the outside of the area after Jeffrén chested down from a corner to the outside of the box. The second a clever run and finish just under goalkeeper Nilson to make the score 5-0. It was a striking cameo and a reminder to Sporting fans just what a talent they signed back in summer.

The performance is perhaps the best of 2012 (excluding perhaps last week’s win over Manchester City) and will give Sá Pinto and the team confidence for their upcoming trip to Manchester for the second leg on Thursday.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Ânderson Polga, Xandão, Evaldo Fabiano; Stijn Schaars, Elias, Matías Fernández (YC) (André Martins 69′); Marat Izmailov (Jeffrén Suárez 79′), Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Sebastián Ribas 83′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Bruno Pereirinha, Daniel Carriço, André Santos

SPORTING vs. Porto Preview

The return of Portuguese league action is back in style as Sporting host Porto at home on Saturday night. Sporting have a huge chance to catch up to first place FC Porto should they manage to beat them in the Alvalade.

The last time the two teams faced was April 17th of last year when Porto won 3-2 in the Dragão. Fortunately, the goal scorers for that day Falcao and Walter have both now left the club with Falcao leaving in the summer and Walter having recently departed on loan to Cruzeiro. Sporting last won this fixture back in 2009/2010 at the Alvalade when Yannick Djaló (a player who has been recently rumoured with a move to Porto), Marat Izmailov and Miguel Veloso all scored in a superb 3-0 victory.

There could be some interesting selections in Domingos Paciência’s team for the forthcoming game judging by the 20-man squad he has to choose from:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck
Defenders: Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu, Evaldo Fabiano, Santiago Arias, João Pereira, Emiliano Insúa
Midfielders: Diego Capel, André Carrillo, Stijn Schaars, Renato Neto, André Santos, Matías Fernández, Marat Izmailov, André Martins, Elias
Forwards: Valeri Bojinov, Jeffrén Suárez, Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Interesting to note Renato Neto’s inclusion after he returned from his loan spell with Cercle Brugge and began training with the first team before Christmas. His earlier integration with the team is probably why his name is there ahead of new arrivals Xandão and Sebastián Ribas.

Jeffrén Suárez is included in the squad for the first time since he had yet another injury. The Spanish attacker has had rotten luck so far this season and has still played 4 games for Sporting (that’s less than Hélder Postiga and Yannick Djaló played in August). Marat Izmailov and Matías Fernández also continue to recover from their injuries.

It gives Domingos some selection headache with how to set up his team especially after the disappointing performance in the recent 1-1 Taça da Liga draw with Rio Ave.

Indeed, there may be the unfortunate call to return Rui Patrício to the starting eleven in spite of the heroics of Marcelo Boeck against Rio Ave.

It’s perhaps Sporting’s most important game of the year thus far. Should they lose they will then fall 9 points behind Porto and it will make it incredibly hard to recoup those points in the remaining months.

Possible SPORTING XI:

Rui Patrício

João Pereira – Oguchi Onyewu – Ânderson Polga – Emiliano Insúa

André Santos – Stijn Schaars – Elias

Diego Capel – Ricky van Wolfswinkel – André Carrillo

Match Report: Feirense 0-2 SPORTING

Sporting made it 10 wins in 10 games win a 2-0 win against Feirense from Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s penalty and a Stijn Schaars strike.

Domingos Paciência made just one change from the team that beat Gil Vicente 6-1 on Monday with Oguchi Onyewu returning in the place of Ânderson Polga in defence. Jeffrén Suárez also made his return on the substitutes bench.

Sporting initially struggled to impose their game on a Feirense side that defended well. Indeed, it was Feirense who came closest to opening the scoring after 10 minutes when Miguel Pedro whipped in a dangerous corner, Daniel Carriço got a touch to it and Varela was inches away from making contact with the ball that would have certain resulted in a Feirense goal.

The first real chance for Sporting came in the 23rd minute when Diego Capel whipped in a low cross that Ricky van Wolfswinkel was just too late to reach.

The biggest moment of the first half was a big penalty shout as Elias was bundled over by Varela. The Brazilian midfielders fall was somewhat theatrical but there was certainly contact and it would not have been a surprise to see referee André Gralha point to the spot.

Just before the break Ricky van Wolfswinkel forced goalkeeper Paulo Lopes into a fine save but for the most part the first half lacked the sort if incision that Sporting have shown in recent games.

As the teams began the second half it was again Feirense who started off the bright of the two teams and perhaps had the best chance of the game so far. Carlos Fonseca’s shot forced Rui Patrício to save but he could only palm the ball into the path of Nuno Henrique who could not convert an easy chance.

Feirense were at it again shortly after when a Alexandre Ludovic shot from long-distance only just went over the Sporting goal – almost a spectacular goal from the Feirense midfielder.

From there though it went all downhill for the home side (although Sporting fans were certainly the majority in the stadium) when Nuno Henrique was booked for a foul on Diego Capel. Just 3 minutes later and once again Henrique fouled Diego Capel and was then give his second yellow card and sent off.

The advantage of an extra man meant Paciência could add an extra attacking emphasis to Sporting and he brought on André Carrillo on for Elias. The next substitution though will have been more popular as Jeffrén Suárez finally returned after his injury troubles in the place of his compatriot Capel.

Sporting were awarded a penalty on the 63rd minute when Cris foolishly brought down Stijn Schaars unnecessarily in the area. Ricky van Wolfswinkel stepped up once again and smashed the ball into the top left hand corner to give Sporting the lead.

Feirense were lucky to still have 10 men just a couple of minutes later when Sténio Santos lunged into Jeffrén with two feet but received only a yellow card for his dangerous tackle.

Jeffrén was close to scoring not long after that when his long range strike forced Paulo Lopes into a superb save and the Feirense goalkeeper just managed to tip the strike onto the woodwork.

Sporting managed to finish the game in the 77th minute when Daniel Carriço’s blocked shot fell to Stijn Schaars who hammered a shot from the edge of the area into the lower right hand corner leaving Paulo Lopes helpless to react.

The rest of the game was played out fairly without incident and Sporting in the end cruised to a very impressive 10th straight victory leaving the Verde e Brancos 3rd in the Liga table.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Daniel Carriço, Oguchi Onyewu, Emiliano Insúa; Fabián Rinaudo (YC), Stijn Schaars (Scored 77′), Elias (André Carrillo 57′); Matías Fernández (Valeri Bojinov 79′), Diego Capel (Jeffrén Suarez 63′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Scored 64′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Bruno Pereirinha, Evaldo Fabiano, André Santos

SPORTING vs. FC Vaslui Preview

Sporting Clube de Portugal look to take further charge of Group D in the Europa League as they welcome Romanian side, FC Vaslui, to the Alvalade. A win would put Sporting top and at least 5 points clear of any potential second place team.

FC Vaslui so far have drawn their first 2 games in the Europa League and currently stand 5th in the Romanian Liga I. The result against Lazio, in the Stadio Olimpico, was in particularly an impressive result. The former Paços de Ferreira and Leixões forward Wesley has been in superb form – scoring 3 times in those 2 European matches.

Vaslui is also currently the club of former Sporting player Gladstone. The defender, who spent the 2007-2008 season on loan at the Alvalade from Cruzeiro, isn’t always a guaranteed starter at centre-back but will travel back to Lisbon as a part of Viorel Hizo’s squad.

Defenders are very much an issue currently for Domingos Paciência with Daniel Carriço, Oguchi Onyewu, and Ânderson Polga all doubts for the forthcoming match. Sporting ended Saturday’s Taça de Portugal game against Famalicão with Alberto Rodríguez and Evaldo Fabiano as the two centre-backs.

The centre-back troubles does mean that youngster Tiago Ilori could feature in Thursday’s game. The player has been kept on hold and does not travel with his NextGen team mates as the U19 squad travel to Germany to face Wolfsburg.  The 18-year old London born defender would be making his debut for the club should he feature at all against Vaslui.

Jeffrén Suárez could finally make his return, the player has been out since the end of August, and if he does feature will probably make his appearance from the bench – with the player being far from match fit. Valeri Bojinov also looks set to return after injury trouble over the international break that put him out of contention for the game against Famalicão.

Sporting then will have a tougher fixture than perhaps predicted with the defensive injuries but in front of the home crowd should be a victory to ease the pressure on getting results in the last 3 fixtures.

Possible Sporting XI:

Rui Patrício

João Pereira – Oguchi Onyewu – Tiago Ilori – Evaldo Fabiano

Fabián Rinaudo – Stijn Schaars

André Carrillo – Matías Fernández – Diego Capel

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel

Report: SPORTING 2-3 Marítimo

Domingos Paciência suffered his first competitive defeat at home to Marítimo. Marítimo exploited Sporting’s weakness in set piece defending two secure a stoppage win.

Sporting started the match with the same starting eleven that won 2-1 over Nordsjælland and the match started in a similar with Sporting straight away in control.

Yannick Djaló forcing Peçanha into a good stop in the 9th minute was Sporting’s first real chance but there was also early warning signs about Sporting’s frailty to defend from set pieces.

17 minutes into the match and Marítimo had their first real chance on goal with Olberdam’s header forcing a superb save out of Rui Patrício. Sporting’s inability to defend corners would have a massive impact later on in the match.

There was though a massive decision that went against Sporting. Evaldo Fabiano, who scored in the last game, had the ball in the back of the Marítimo net after Peçanha let loose a Stijn Schaars freekick in to the Brazilians path. The assistant referee flagged for offside but replays showed that Evaldo was definitely onside at the time of Schaar’s freekick. The growing feud between the club and the FPF and the referees may well end even more sour and a farce like before the Beira-Mar game may not be far off.

Not long after that though Sporting had the ball in the net again and this time there was no way it could be ruled out. Marat Izmailov got his second goal of the season with a great strike from outside the area that left Peçanha helpless.

Not long after half-time Marítimo had gone from 1-0 down to 2-1 up. The first a great header by Rafael Miranda from a corner only moments after Robson forced a great Patrício save from another set piece.

The second was a piece of great play from Sami. Who failed to be closed down and was allowed a to shoot from distance, the shot was powerful and although Patrício got a touch, he was unable to do anything about it.

The sudden reversal of the score immediately forced Domingos Paciência to make some changes. Diego Capel and Yannick Djaló were replaced by the returning Jeffrén Suárez and Valeri Bojinov. Paciência made a final change ten minutes later bringing on Ricky van Wolfswinkel for Hélder Postiga.

Jeffrén grabbed an equaliser as he smashed in a freekick but injured himself in the process. Jeffrén has been one of the best performers this season and hopefully his injury will not be too serious.

The injury to Jeffrén meant Sporting now had to finish the game down to ten men and for the most part a draw seemed likely until the 91st minute. Once again another corner came in and this time Baba, the man who may well be set to join Celtic shortly, was the man to grab the goal.

The game finished with boos from the Sportinguistas in the Alvalade and now the team will have to wait until after the international break to grab the team’s first league win of the season.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Daniel Carriço, Ânderson Polga (YC), Evaldo Fabiano; André Santos (YC), Stijn Schaars (YC); Yannick Djaló (Valeri Bojinov 54′), Marat Izmailov (Scored 37′, YC), Diego Capel (Jeffrén Suárez 54′, Scored 75′); Hélder Postiga (Ricky van Wolfswinkel 64′).
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Oguchi Onyewu, André Carrillo, Fabián Rinaudo