SPORTING 2-1 Porto

Match report from PortuGOAL.net:

Sporting were the victors in the first clássico of the season after an entertainingly scrappy affair at the Alvalade.

Felipe gave the Dragões the lead but goals from the departing Islam Slimani and then Gelson Martins gave the win to Sporting, who now lead the Primeira Liga.

There has been plenty of buzz off the pitch in Portuguese football this weekend with the transfer market making the headlines. The more important action though was on the pitch in the first clássico of the season.

Sporting were, of course, without João Mário after the midfielder’s big money move to Inter. Gelson Martins started in his place and Joel Campbell, on loan from Arsenal, started on the bench.

Despite Nuno Espírito Santo’s side having put Roma to the sword in style in order to qualify for the Champions League midweek, there was only one change; Miguel Layún replaced the injured Maxi Pereira.

Porto take an early lead

Porto may have excused for some tiredness after the game against Roma in the fiery Alvalade atmosphere, but it was they who started the game off with a goal after just 8 minutes.

Referee Tiago Martins gave a soft freekick to Porto outside the area. Miguel Layún’s delivery from it was perfect with Sporting defenders unable to cope and Felipe was allowed to put the ball past Rui Patrício from close range. The Brazilian defender made it 2 goals in 2 games.

Slimani scores against Porto again

Sporting found it hard to get going but they hit back in the 14th minute. It was another freekick situation, this time Bruno César’s shot hit the post. Gelson Martins was the first to react to the situation, and he slid the ball under Iker Casillas. The Spaniard got something on it and it looked like the ball was going to bounce on the goal line and out back into play. However, Islam Slimani, who has a knack of scoring for Porto, made sure of the goal when he smashed it in to score what may be his last goal for Sporting.

Gelson gives Sporting the lead

Sporting grew after that goal and got the second in the 27th minute. Bryan Ruiz picked up the ball in the Porto area. Casillas would later claim it was handball but replays showed that although the ball did touch Ruiz’s hand there was little the Costa Rican could have done about it. Ruiz found Gelson Martin whose powerful shot beat Casillas to put Sporting ahead. Casillas was booked for his protest and Gelson for celebrating without his shirt.

Porto almost hit back immediately. André André picked up the ball from outside the Sporting area and unleashed a fantastic curling shot that had Patrício beaten but went just inches wide.

Then it was Sporting’s turn. This time Casillas was caught out going for a ball and Adrien Silva had a chance but the Spaniard recovered in time to stop Adrien’s shot.

It was a fantastically entertaining 45 minutes of football with Sporting narrowly the better of the two sides. In the second half, although the intensity increased the quality dipped. Nuno Espírito Santo replaced the ineffectual Jesús Corona with the returning Óliver Torres at the break, this being the Spaniard’s first game since returning to Porto from Atlético Madrid.

Sporting almost made it three when Rúben Semedo, who was a rock in defence once again, got his head to Marvin Zeegelaar’s cross. The defender couldn’t keep the ball down to head what would have been an open goal. Casillas was needed five minutes later this time to keep William Carvalho’s header from a corner out.

The game then got scrappy. Sporting looked happy to hold onto the lead and to try and counter where as Porto tried to attack but looked unable to get any fluidity in their movements. João Pereira and Rúben Semedo were having stand out performances in the Sporting back line.

Porto needed to try and change things so Laurent Depoitre came on for André André and later Adrián López for Otávio but the Dragões looked tired from their Champions League victory and as the game wore on became less of a threat despite getting into good positions.

Jorge Jesus, sent to the stands during the second half, which is now almost standard practice for any big match, gave Joel Campbell his debut, replacing compatriot Bryan Ruiz. The Arsenal forward looked lively in his cameo.

In the end, the result was a just one with Sporting overall the better of the two teams and it is they that go into the international break leaders of the Primeira Liga.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (YC), Sebastián Coates, Rúben Semedo, Marvin Zeegelaar; William Carvalho (YC), Adrien Silva (YC); Gelson Martins (YC) (Bruno Paulista, 68’, YC), Bruno César (YC) (Carlos Mané, 90’); Bryan Ruiz (Joel Campbell, 68’), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Beto, Ezequiel Schelotto, Paulo Oliveira, Alan Ruiz

Primeira Liga Fixtures Announced

The Primeira Liga fixtures for the 2016/2017 season have been announced. Sporting’s begin the season at the Alvalade hosting Marítimo with the first big game of the season at home to Porto 2 weeks later. The season ends at home to Chaves.

Here’s the full list:

August:
vs. Marítimo (Home)
vs. Paços de Ferreira (Away)
vs. FC Porto (Home)
September:
vs. Moreirense (Home)
vs. Rio Ave (Away)
vs. Estoril (Home)
October:
vs. Vitória de Guimarães (Away)
vs. Tondela (Home)
vs. Nacional (Away)
November:
vs. Arouca (Home)
vs. Boavista (Away)
December:
vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Home)
vs. Benfica (Away)
vs. Braga (Home)
vs. Belenenses (Away)
January:
vs. Feirense (Home)
vs. Chaves (Away)
vs. Marítimo (Away)
vs. Paços de Ferreira (Home)
February:
vs. FC Porto (Away)
vs. Moreirense (Away)
vs. Rio Ave (Home)
vs. Estoril (Away)
March:
vs. Vitória de Guimarães (Home)
vs. Tondela (Away)
vs. Nacional (Home)
April:
vs. Arouca (Away)
vs. Boavista (Home)
vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Away)
vs. Benfica (Home)
vs. Braga (Away)
May:
vs. Belenenses (Home)
vs. Feirense (Away)
vs. Chaves

Result: SPORTING 1-0 Porto

Match Report from PortuGOAL.net:
“Sporting picked up their first win over Porto since February 2010 as in-form Islam Slimani scored the winner against Porto. The visitors finished the game with 10-men after Fernando was sent off in the 90th minute but there will be focus on the refereeing again as André Martins looked offside in the build-up to Slimani’s goal.

In the shadow of the poor officiating from the last round of the Primeira Liga, the FPF elected to place Pedro Proença in charge for the clássio. With Bruno de Carvalho’s words after the Setúbal game all eyes would be on the officials today.

Sporting coach Leonardo Jardim was without Maurício who picked up a suspension in the last game so Eric Dier filled in at centre-back. Meanwhile Carlos Mané returned to the starting line-up after he missed the last game through injury.

As for Porto, Luís Castro was without the injured Maicon at centre back so Abdoulaye Ba took his place alongside Eliaquim Mangala. Otherwise Castro chose the same team that beat Napoli in the Europa League midweek.

The game started intensely with both sides looking fired up for the game. Adrien Silva and Danilo both receiving yellow cards from Pedro Proença within the first 15 minutes of the match.

It was the visitors who made the first chance through some brilliant skill by Ricardo Quaresma down the left wing to get past Cédric Soares. Quaresma’s flicked cross found Silvestre Varela at the far post but Rui Patrício’s instinctive save prevented Varela from getting the opening goal.

When Porto did attack it was usually through Ricardo Quaresma, looking back to his best since his return to Porto, who was making Porto tick. He came close to a sensational goal on the half-hour mark when again he found space against Cédric and sent a curling strike from outside the area that cannoned back of Patrício’s bar with the goalkeeper well beaten.

Although Porto were having the best opportunities Sporting did look threatening when going forward. Islam Slimani, as ever, was causing problems and the partnership of Abdoulaye and Mangala did not look assured in possession.

Just before the half-time whistle Porto had the best chance of the game when Danilo found space going forward behind the Sporting defence. The full-back crossed for Jackson Martínez who was in plenty of space but the Colombian could only head wide under pressure from Cédric.

After the break the home side began to take control of the game and look more threatening. Carlos Mané had Sporting’s first real chance of the game when his flicked-on header from a corner forced a good reaction save from Helton.

Sporting took the lead just a minute later when a great William Carvalho ball found André Martins down the right wing. The midfielder looked marginally offside as he received the ball from Carvalho but play continued. Martins floated an excellent cross for Islam Slimani who peeled off Mangala to head past Helton.

Things went bad to worse when off the ball Helton was badly injured and had to be taken off the pitch on a stretcher. Helton left to generous applause from all sides of the Alvalade crowd. The capable Fabiano came on for Helton but Luís Castro and Porto will be very concerned with how serious the injury looked.

Porto now had to attack and Sporting looked happy to soak up the pressure and look to counter attack.

It looked like Porto would be certain to equalise when Jackson Martínez found himself in behind Eric Dier and through on goal against Rui Patrício. The Colombian tried to slide the ball under the goalkeeper but Patrício got a knick on the ball, allowing Eric Dier just enough time to make an outstanding block to prevent Martínez from scoring into an empty goal.

Porto wouldn’t find another chance as good as that one as they pushed on and Fernando was given a red card by Proença for shoving Fredy Montero to the ground. Play had stopped whilst the striker tried waste time.

The second half performance from Sporting was certainly deserving of the 3 points and they now go 5 points clear of the Champions and within 4 points of Benfica, albeit with Benfica facing Nacional tomorrow.”

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício (YC); Cédric Soares, Eric Dier, Marcos Rojo, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva (YC), André Martins (André Carrillo, 69′); Carlos Mané (Wilson Eduardo, 86′, YC), Diego Capel, Islam Slimani (Scored, 52′) (Fredy Montero, 73′, YC)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Rúben Semedo, Gérson Magrão, Héldon Ramos

Weekly News Round-Up 15/03/14

Apologies, it’s been a while our last update, so we’ll review what has happened in a busy week for Sporting starting with last week’s controversial game away to Vitória de Setúbal.

Referee Vasco Santos grabbed the headlines in a hugely controversial game. Islam Slimani and Adrien Silva were the goal-scorers for Sporting whilst Rafael Martins and Ricardo Horta scored for the home side. The result saw Porto get within 2 points of Sporting and Benfica pull 7 points clear.

President Bruno de Carvalho was particularly outspoken after the game stating: “[We ask] the fans to mobilise and that they do not accept a situation which is damaging the Club. Sporting has already had 7 points taken away in the league this season. The only chance that Sporting has of playing is if the fans come together and say enough is enough of this situation that has damaged the Club for long enough.”

Expect a protest from Sporting fans in tomorrow’s game against Porto at the Alvalade.

Before that Sporting B lost again, this time to AC Viseu. Wilson Manafá was sent off but Shikabala returned from injury with Vítor Silva and Iván Piris also making appearances. Fausto Lourenço 70th minute goal grabbed the victory for the home side.

K.A.A. Gent announced that they have agreed to sign Sporting’s on-loan midfielder Renato Neto at the end of the season. Renato Neto joined Sporting in 2007 and graduated through the academy ranks.

In better news Sporting announced that 18-year old forward Gelson Martins had signed a new deal with the club. As with many previous deals, this is long term (until 2019) with a minimum release clause of €45m.

There was more good news for Gelson Martins when he was again picked in the Portugal U-19 squad along side teammates João Palhinha, Domingos Duarte, Rúben Ribeiro, Francisco Geraldes and Guilherme Oliveira.

And if that wasn’t enough for Martins he scored for the Sporting youth team as they beat Benfica 2-1 in the Juniores A 2ª Fase Apuramento Campeão. Domingos Duarte was sent off before Pedro Rebocho equalised for Benfica. Brazilian forward Matheus Pereira got the win for 10-man Sporting though in 74th minute.

And finally we look forward to tomorrow’s big game at the Alvalade against Luís Castro’s Porto. Maurício picked up another yellow card in the Setúbal game and will miss this match meaning Eric Dier is likely to start alongside Marcos Rojo in defence. Elsewhere Carlos Mané returns from the injury he picked up in international duty that put him out of the last game.

Transfer News 08/01/14

Another round of the various rumours surrounding Sporting in recent days…

According to France Football, USM Alger’s Abderrahmane Bourdim is set to go on trial at Sporting shortly. The youth international has been gathering interest from Monaco and Dijon.

João Mário may not be on his way to Cercle Brugge after all with the player now set to join Vitória de Setubal until the end of the season.

The Elias saga continues this time with Corinthians and Atlético Mineiro also names mentioned but the midfielder still wants to return to Flamengo.

There is currently interest in Zakaria Labyad from Fulham, FC Twente and his former club, PSV Eindhoven. A loan deal for the player until the end of the season is the most likely option at the moment.

Brazilian fullback Welder was looking likely to exit the Alvalade this month with the Palmeiras man not getting much football but the player’s agent, Beto Rappa, says the player is enjoying his time at the club and wants to stay to earn his place in the team.

Bruno de Carvalho is hoping for the club to repurchase the rights of two Sporting players: William Carvalho and Marcos Rojo. The President wants to do it before the start of the World Cup with the club hoping to cash in on large transfer fees afterwards. Sporting currently own 60% of the economic rights of William Carvalho but just 25% of Marcos Rojo.

In a more bizarre story A Bola are reporting that Sporting have been monitoring the situation of Jorge Fucile as he is surplus to requirements at FC Porto. The Uruguayan defender is free to move on from the club with the player almost certain to join Club Nacional de Football it is unlikely he’ll be at Sporting anytime soon as especially with Sporting being well covered in that area.

Result: SPORTING 0-0 Porto

Sporting drew at home 0-0 against FC Porto in the Taça da Liga despite being the better team with the visiting team ending the game with 10 men.

Leonardo Jardim made a few changes from his usual first team for this cup tie. Marcelo Boeck started in goal with Eric Dier in defence. Islam Slimani started ahead of Fredy Montero for the first time this season and André Martins got through his injury to start in midfield.

It was a hugely entertaining game with the home side in charge through most of the game. Wilson Eduardo had the best chance of the first half when he found space behind Porto’s back line but his shot was straight at goalkeeper Fabiano.

The fast pace of the first half carried straight on into the second half with Sporting again the better of the two teams.

The two best chances of the game nearer the end and fell to Vítor Silva, who was on for André Martins.

Perhaps the best of the chances came in the 81st minute when Vítor was put through to goal by an other substitute in André Carrillo but midfielder’s shot was well saved Fabiano.

Then Carlos Eduardo was given his marching orders by referee Olegário Benquerença for a second yellow card after a foul on Vítor.

Sporting had another chance to win the match right near the end and again it fell to Vítor Silva but this time the shot went just wide of the post.

Porto managed to hang on in the end but will know they only managed to do so through the heroics of Fabiano.

The result means that all of the teams in Group B are even as Marítimo played out a goalless draw with Penafiel earlier in the day.

SPORTING XI: Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares, Eric Dier, Marcos Rojo, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, André Martins (Vítor Silva, 77′); Wilson Eduardo, Diego Capel (André Carrillo, 67′), Islam Slimani (Fredy Montero, 63′)
Substitutes Not Used: Rui Patrício, Maurício, Gérson Magrão, Diogo Salomão

Taça da Liga Draw: Porto, Marítimo and Penafiel

The draw for the 3rd round of the Taça da Liga yesterday and Sporting have been handed a difficult group. Sporting will host Porto (December 29th) and Marítimo (January 15th) before playing away against Penafiel (January 25th).

Should Sporting manage to qualify from Group B they will face the winners of Group D which includes Benfica, Gil Vicente, Leixões and Nacional.

Result: Porto 3-1 SPORTING

Sporting suffered their first defeat of the season against a superior Porto side. A Josué penalty, as well as goals from Danilo and Lucho González were enough for the away side despite William Carvalho’s first Sporting goal.

There were no surprises in Leonardo Jardim’s team selection. Iván Piris kept his place at left-back with Jefferson only just returning to fitness, although he was in the squad. Wilson Eduardo and André Carrillo were the wingers selected to support Fredy Montero.

Sporting got off to the worst possible start when Maurício gave away a penalty after just ten minutes that midfielder Josué slotted away with ease.

The away side improved somewhat after going a goal behind but failed to create any chances in what was a cagey first half – typical of most games between the two sides.

Sporting did improve somewhat after the break managing to find more space on the pitch than they did in the first half.

William Carvalho poked home after Helton’s clearance from a freekick did not go far but the lead last just over a minute before Danilo made easy work of Marcos Rojo before firing home an unstoppable shot past Rui Patrício.

Porto then caught Sporting on a counter that lead to the third goal with Lucho González finishing from close range. That goal effectively ended the tie on what was a very tough night at the Dragão.

And so Leonardo Jardim suffers his first competitive Sporting defeat. The team were caught out with defensive mistakes and lacked invention whilst going forward. The performances of Piris and, especially, William Carvalho did stand out.

Sporting still sit second in the Liga table by virtue of a better goal difference over Benfica but now trail Porto by 5 points.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Cedric Soares, Maurício (YC), Marcos Rojo, Iván Piris (YC); William Carvalho (Scored, 60), Adrien Silva, André Martins (Vítor Silva, 71′); Wilson Eduardo (Diego Capel, 57′), André Carrillo (Gérson Magrão, 81′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Eric Dier, Fabián Rinaudo, Islam Slimani

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.

‘B’ Teams Confirmed for Next Season

Confirmation came today of the B Teams now being included into the Liga de Honra for next season. There had been discussions of clubs using B Teams frequently in the last and now it will become a reality for the 2012/2013 Liga de Honra.

Sporting B will be one of those teams along with B sides from Benfica, Porto, Braga, Marítimo and Vitória de Guimarães. The teams will not be able to be promoted and will not participate in cup competitions. More in depth information into the new working of the second-tier can be found over at PortuGOAL.

Now the speculation will mount as to which players will make up the extra team and who will become the B side’s new manager. Abel, who coached the U-19 team after Ricardo Sá Pinto’s step up to the senior squad, could be seen as a major contender at this point.

So far, Atila Turan’s agent has said that his player would be willing to play for Sporting B after the Frenchman’s loan at Beira-Mar last season. There have also been rumours of Fluminense’s Lucas Patinho joining Sporting and to begin his career with the B team.

Other likely players include the U-19 players who are now too old and many loan returnees for example Vítor Golas, Nuno Reis, João Gonçalves, Wilson Eduardo, Diogo Rosado, André Marquez and Amido Baldé.

None of the fixtures for the next season have been announced yet but games against local sides like Belenenses and Atlético CP as well as the B teams of rival clubs will be eagerly anticapted.