Sporting Squad to Face Real Madrid

Sporting’s squad that travels to Spain to face Cristiano Ronaldo and friends tomorrow has been announced.

The Champions League allows for bigger squads than the Primeira Liga so it’s no surprise to see players like Vladimir Stojković make the cut.

Here’s the full squad:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Beto, Vladimir Stojković
Defenders: João Pereira, Ezequiel Schelotto, Ricardo Esgaio, Rúben Semedo, Sebastián Coates, Paulo Oliveira, Douglas Teixeira, Marvin Zeegelaar, Jefferson
Midfielders: William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Bruno César, Elias, Radosav Petrović, Marcelo Meli, Bruno Paulista
Forwards: Lazar Marković, Bryan Ruiz, Gelson Martins, Matheus Pereira, Alan Ruiz, André, Bas Dost, Joel Campbell, Luc Castaignos

Champions League Squad Announced

The squad for Sporting’s Champions League campaign has been announced. UEFA has yet to publish the “B” list, meaning some youth team players like Matheus Pereira and Gelson Martins don’t feature but that should follow shortly.

All of the new signings feature, the only missing name from the first team squad proper is goalkeeper Ažbe Jug.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Beto, Vladimir Stojković*, Luís Maximiano*, Pedro Silva*
Defenders: Ezequiel Schelotto, Jefferson, Sebastián Coates, Paulo Oliveira, Douglas Teixeira, João Pereira, Rúben Semedo, Ricardo Esgaio, Marvin Zeegelaar, Pedro Empis*, Mauro Riquicho*, Ivanildo Fernandes*, Guilherme Ramos*, Abdu Conté*, Gonçalo Vieira*, Jefferson Encada*
Midfielders: Radosav Petrović, Bruno César, William Carvalho, Elias, Adrien Silva, Marcelo Meli, Bruno Paulista, Alan Ruiz, Bubacar Djaló*, Gelson Martins*, Bruno Paz*, Pedro Ferreira*, Fábio Martins*
Forwards: Lazar Marković, Joel Campbell, Bryan Ruiz, André, Luc Castaignos, Bas Dost, Luís Eloi*, Matheus Pereira*

*B list

Edited 13/9 to include to include the B squad.

SPORTING 2-3 Real Betis

Sporting succumbed to another pre-season defeat, this time in the Algarve against Real Betis. Sporting took the lead through Alan Ruiz before Rubén Castro scored a hatrick. Islam Slimani pulled on back before the end but it wasn’t enough against an unnecessarily combative Betis side.

Jorge Jesus gave a rare start to Bruno Paulista in midfield alongside William Carvalho. Bryan Ruiz and Alan Ruiz lead the line from the start in what was an otherwise familiar Sporting side.

It was Alan Ruiz who took the lead after just 17 minutes but a quick fire double from Rubén Castro put Betis ahead. Each of the Betis goals exposing a frailty in Sporting’s defence, the kind that has marred pre-season thus far.

Regardless of the score Sporting were the better team with the majority of the possession where as Real Betis, in typical Gustavo Poyet fashion, were more interested in getting as physical as possible.

After the break Jesus brought on João Pereira, Paulo Oliveira, Daniel Podence and Radosav Petrović.

Again Sporting were the better of the two teams but some more bad defending allowed Castro to complete his hatrick after 58 minutes.

Jesus made a few more changes immediately afterwards including bringing on new signing Marcelo Meli.

A Jefferson cross found the head of Islam Slimani to pull one back for Sporting but it wasn’t enough. Although, in the last second of the game Sporting should have had a penalty when Marcelo Meli was obviously brought down in the area but nothing was given.

Sporting have lost plenty this pre-season but the overall performance here was good, all that is needed is for the defensive mistakes to be ironed out. Naldo and Ewerton do not seem to be performing at all under Jesus and it is unlikely they will still be at the club in September.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ezequiel Schelotto (João Pereira, 46′, YC), Sebastián Coates (Paulo Oliveira, 46′), Naldo (Ewerton, 74′), Marvin Zeegelaar (Jefferson, 60′); William Carvalho (Radosav Petrović, 46′), Bruno Paulista (João Palhinha, 60′), Gelson Martins (Iuri Medeiros. 60′), Bruno César (Marcelo Meli, 60′); Bryan Ruiz (Daniel Podence, 46′), Alan Ruiz (Scored, 17′) (Islam Slimani, 60′, Scored, 75′)
Substitutes Not Used: Ažbe Jug, Vladimir Stojković, Rúben Semedo, João Mário, Adrien Silva, Alberto Aquilani, Matheus Pereira

SPORTING 2-1 Wolfsburg

Sporting looked back to themselves after an uneasy pre-season with a 2-1 victory over Wolfsburg in the annual Troféu Cinco Violinos. The game saw the return of William Carvalho, João Mário and Adrien Silva to the starting line-up and the difference was obvious.

Indeed, Jorge Jesus’ starting XI for this match was his regular line-up for the second half of last season, so it was very much a full strength Sporting.

Before the match new signing Marcelo Meli was paraded in front of the fans. The Argentinian midfielder joins on loan from Boca Juniors.

Sporting opened the scoring through Islam Slimani, who’s smart finish beat goalkeeper Koen Casteels after Wolfsburg failed to deal with a cross.

Christian Träsch fouled Bruno César in the area to give Sporting a penalty. Adrien Silva stepped up and duly delivered with his effort.

Ricardo Rodríguez also pulled one back before half-time with a thunderous volley but Rui Patrício made an outstanding save to deny him.

At half-time Sporting paraded the new women’s football team.

The second half was a slower game with both sides making plenty of substitutions. Wolfsburg pulled a goal back through Anton-Leander Donkor in the 78th minute.

Wolfsburg couldn’t provide an equaliser though and Sporting once again won the Troféu Cinco Violinos. Most importantly though for Sporting and Jorge Jesus, the team was back to looking its old self.

Sporting now have two remaining pre-season games before the opening game of the season. They will face Real Betis and Nice on the 4th and 5th of August.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ezequiel Schelotto (João Pereira 64′, YC), Rúben Semedo (Ewerton, 76′), Sebastián Coates (Naldo, 76′), Marvin Zeegelaar (YC) (Jefferson, 64′); William Carvalho (Alberto Aquilani, 76′), Adrien Silva (Scored, 34′) (João Palhinha, 55′), João Mário (Iuri Medeiros, 46′); Bruno César (Daniel Podence, 76′, YC), Bryan Ruiz (Matheus Pereira, 76′), Islam Slimani (Scored, 26′) (Alan Ruiz, 55′)
Substitutes Not Used: Ažbe Jug, Hernán Barcos

Sporting Sign Leonardo Ruiz, Loan Deals, & Transfer Rumours Round-Up

Yesterday Sporting completed the signing of former Porto B forward Leonardo Ruiz to join Sporting B. The Colombian was signed on loan by Porto from Atlético Nacional from 2014 to 2016. Sporting have an option to made the transfer permanent.

Ruiz said he wanted to aim to score 20 goals this season. With the return of Betinho to Belenenses and the departures of Ousmane Dramé (permanently) and Hadi Sacko (on loan) the B team does need extra fire power up front.

Vitória de Setúbal look set to take Ryan Gauld and André Geraldes on loan for the next season. With how João Mário and Rubén Semedo improved their it could be an excellent move for both players.

There are still plenty of transfer rumours from the various Portuguese dailies. Like always, their scattergun approach means sometimes, just sometimes, they’re right. So here’s a quick round up…

Teófilo Gutiérrez looked set to return to Argentina with Rosario Central apparently the club closest to signing the Colombian striker. According Teó’s agent he also has proposals from the United States and Europe so don’t expect this one to be resolved anytime soon.

One rumour reported by the papers, one that has been reported on for a while, is Eduardo to become Rui Patrício’s back-up for this season. The club just has to work out a deal with Dinamo Zagreb.

Should Napoli eventually sell Gonzalo Higuaín then Islam Slimani would become their priority. Although, Italian press have also linked them with lots of other big name strikers.

Staying in Italy, Atalanta are interesting in Alberto Aquilani. After the Italian midfielder’s performance against PSV Eindhoven, any bid will probably be accepted.

Again in Italy, according to O Jogo, Sporting are interested in Palermo’s Achraf Lazaar. The left-back, a position Sporting apparently want to bolster, is available for €5m.

Sporting are looking to make Sebastián Coates’ loan deal permanently as soon as possible. The Uruguayan is still a Sunderland player.

Canadian forward Cyle Larin, currently at Orlando City, has apparently impressed enough for Sporting to consider a bid that would need be around €4m to capture his signature. With Teó set to leave and apparently Hernán Barcos also set to departure Sporting are in need of a new striker. Lukas Spalvis’ injury leaves only Islam Slimani as a true striker.

The press have linked Sporting with 2 Argentinian midfielders. The first is Eibar’s Gonzalo Escalante and then Boca Juniors’ defensive midfielder Marcelo Meli is apparently on Sporting’s radar as well.