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Primeira Liga Matchweek 8 preview: Sporting Clube de Portugal vs. Moreirense (21:30h. CET; 20:30h. WET) - Team news, lineups

League leaders Sporting Lisbon host Moreirense in the Primeira Liga on Saturday evening hoping to extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points.

Meanwhile, the visitors have won only one of their last five matches and sit three points above the relegation zone.

Match preview

Sporting Lisbon's impressive start to the 2020-21 campaign has raised hopes that this could finally be their year to win the Primeira Liga title for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Ruben Amorim's side have won six of their opening seven matches, dropping only two points in their 2-2 home draw to Porto in October.

Leoes cruised to a 4-0 victory over Vitoria de Guimaraes in their last league outing, before thrashing third division side SG Sacavenense 7-1 on Sunday.

An early exit from the Europa League qualifiers in September has enabled Sporting to focus on domestic matters this campaign and with their rivals Benfica and Porto having a more congested fixture schedule, this could give Amorim's side a slight advantage.

Victory on Saturday would see Sporting move seven points clear of both Braga and Benfica in second and third place respectively.

Moreirense were due to host Pacos de Ferreira on November 6, however the home side had a significant number of coronavirus cases which resulted in the match being postponed.

This means that Cesar Peixoto's side have not played a league match since their 2-0 loss away at Rio Avein October; however they did return to action on Sunday in the Taca de Portugal, beating Merelinense 1-0 away from home.

Peixoto was not in the dugout however, as he is self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus.

Despite picking up just one point from a possible nine on the road, Moreirense do have a good home record in the early stages of this campaign, having picked up two victories and a draw.

Saturday night however will present a much tougher challenge for Moreirense as they come up against a side that they have only ever beaten once in 15 attempts in the Primeira Liga, which was back in the 2003-04 campaign.

A surprise victory for Peixoto's men could see them move up seven places from 11th in the table to fifth and claim their third victory of the campaign.

Sporting Lisbon Primeira Liga form: WDWWWW
Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions): DWWWWW

Moreirense Primeira Liga form: WLDDWL
Moreirense form (all competitions): LDDWLW

Team News

Sporting manager Ruben Amorim is set to stick with the 3-4-2-1 formation which has worked wonders in the early stages of their season.

Pedro Goncalves, who has scored seven goals in the opening six league matches, is likely to remain in an advanced midfield position alongside Nuno Santos and in behind striker Andraz Sporar.

Moreirense suffered a huge blow on Tuesday as it was announced that forward Pedro Nuno would miss the rest of the season with a ruptured ligament in his right knee. Angolan striker Fabio Abreu is likely to replace Nuno up front.

Left-back Pedro Amador is also ruled out with a torn ligament injury. Afonso Figueiredo is the most likely replacement to come into the starting lineup.

Right-back Matheus Silva is back in contention after recovering from coronavirus.

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Neto, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Nunes, Palhinha, Mendes; Pote, Santos; Sporar

Moreirense possible starting lineup:
Pasinato; D'Alberto, Rosic, Vitoria, Figueiredo; Pacheco; Pires, F. Soares, A. Soares, Walterson; Abreu

Source: Sports Mole / Oliver Thomas

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