Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Primeira Liga clash between Gil Vicente and Sporting Lisbon, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
They will be looking to record a fourth consecutive win in the league, while the hosts will have renewed confidence after winning last time out, a result which put an end to a run of four consecutive Primeira Liga losses.
Gil Vicente come into this game with a slight confidence boost, having won their last league match, beating Boavista 2-1 away from home on Friday.
The game looked set to finish 1-1, until Yves Baraye popped up with an 85th-minute goal to secure all three points for his side.
That goal sealed Gil Vicente’s fourth win of the season in the Primeira Liga, seeing them leapfrog Boavista, moving out of the relegation zone and up to 13th place.
However, they do sit just two points above the automatic relegation places, meaning that one bad result could see them get dragged right back down into the bottom three, given how tight the top flight’s bottom half is.
They face arguably their toughest test to date in this clash though, hosting a Sporting Lisbon team who are yet to lose in league action this campaign.
They come into this game hoping to record a fourth consecutive league win, after beating Maritimo last time out.
A Pedro Goncalves brace secured a 14th Primeira Liga win of the season for the Leoes, taking their points tally to 45 out of a possible 51 at this stage.
Before that result, Matheus Nunes popped up with an injury-time winner to secure a crucial win over rivals Benfica, after the game looked set to finish goalless. That marked a huge win for the side from Portugal’s capital, as they took another big step towards the trophy.
In his second season managing in the top flight, 36-year-old Ruben Amorim has his side on track for a first Primeira Liga title since 2002, and their claim is growing stronger with each win.
Their strong standing at the top of the table is in no small part down to a solid defensive record, with no other side conceding fewer than their nine from 17 matches.
Meanwhile, their attack has also been worthy of the league title, with only second-placed Porto outscoring Os Verde e Brancos, who have recorded 36 goals so far.
Amorim will be eyeing this fixture up as a chance to record a 15th league win of the season, taking on a side who are battling at the bottom of the division, as the Leoes look to maintain their distance from the chasing pack.
Gil Vicente Primeira Liga form: DLLLLW
Gil Vicente form (all competitions): WLLLLW
Sporting Lisbon Primeira Liga form: WWDWWW
Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions): DWWWWW
The home side remain without young forward Miullen, who continues his spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.
He is joined by experienced defender Diogo Silva, who will also remain out of this match with an injury.
Winger Yves Baraye strengthened his claim for a starting spot with his goal in the last game, with the Senegalese forward expected to come into the lineup for this clash.
Pedro Goncalves is expected to feature prominently in Sporting Lisbon’s attack once again, after he took his goal tally to 14 from 15 league games with a brace in their most recent win.
He will be joined by Paulinho, who arrived on deadline day as the side’s record transfer from Braga.
Other than Luiz Phellype, who remains out with a long-term injury, Amorim should have a full squad to pick from, and he is likely to pick his best possible side, with every game being crucial in their bid to win the title.
Gil Vicente possible starting lineup:
Denis; Paulinho, Nogueira, Fernandes, Talocha; Pedrinho, Afonso, Mineiro; Lourency, Lino, Fujimoto
Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Inacio, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Nunes, Palhinha, Antunes; Goncalves, Paulinho, Santos
We say: Gil Vicente 0-2 Sporting Lisbon
Despite the hosts hoping to turn a corner and save themselves from the drop, we can see them being outclassed in this encounter, by a Sporting side at the very top of their game.
The strong defensive unit of the league leaders should hold out against one of the league’s weaker attacks, while the attacking threat posed by Amorim’s men should be more than enough to secure another three points.
Top betting tip
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