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Oct 2, 2021 at 8.30pm UK
Sporting LisbonSporting Lisbon
Dabbagh (51')
Nunes (45+1'), Silva (63'), Araujo (85')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Nunes (16'), Santos (54')
Sarabia (45'), Paulinho (63'), Porro (63'), Braganca (77'), Tomas (90+3')

Preview: Arouca vs. Sporting Lisbon - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Arouca vs. Sporting Lisbon - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Primeira Liga clash between Arouca and Sporting Lisbon, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Sporting Lisbon square off against Arouca when they take a trip to the Estadio Municipal de Arouca in round eight of the Primeira Liga on Saturday.

The hosts saw their two-game unbeaten run come to an end last time out, while the reigning champions head into the game fresh off the back of a Champions League defeat to German powerhouse Dortmund.

Match preview

Arouca continue to drop points in the Portuguese top flight as they suffered a 2-1 defeat against Moreirense at the Parque de Jogos Comendador Joaquim de Almeida Freitas last Saturday.

In an action-packed contest between the sides, Walterson Silva and Andre Luis scored to put Os verdes e branco in a comfortable two-goal lead before Andre Silva halved the deficit in the 82nd minute.

This followed successive 2-2 draws against Maritimo and Vitoria de Guimaraes, where the Arouquenses showed great determination and fighting spirit to come from behind and salvage a point in both games.

However, the newly-promoted side have generally struggled with life in the big leagues, claiming just one win from their first seven games, while losing four and picking up two draws.

Their defensive frailties has been a major reason for this shaky start to the season as they have shipped 14 goals so far, with only Moreirense and Santa Clara conceding more.

While Arouca will be seeking to end their current run of four games without a win, they face the tough ask of taking on the defending champions, who have won each of the most recent 10 encounters between the sides since 2013.

Sporting Lisbon, on the other hand, were denied a third win on the trot last Tuesday when they fell to a 1-0 defeat away to German side Dortmund in Group C of the Champions League.

Newly-signed Dutch forward Donyell Malen came up trumps for the Bundesliga outfit as he struck what was his first goal for the club in the 37th minute to hand them all three points.

This was a second consecutive European defeat for Ruben Amorim's men, who suffered a 5-1 humbling at the hands of Eredivisie champions Ajax in their group opener on September 15.

Sporting Lisbon now return home where they claimed a second win on the bounce courtesy of Pedro Porro's 98th-minute penalty to see off a dogged Maritimo 1-0 last side last Friday.

The Leoes, who are currently level on 17 points with second-place Porto in the Primeira Liga standings, have kicked off their title defence on a good note and are one of three sides yet to suffer defeat so far in the division.

Arouca Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Sporting Lisbon Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Arouca remain without the services of Ghanaian midfielder Moses Yaw, who has been out of action since sustaining a knee injury against Vilafranquense back in April.

Venezuelan defender Sema Velazquez is also out of contention for the Arouquenses after coming off with an Achilles tendon injury while on international duty against Argentina on September 3.

Antony Santos is another name on the hosts' injury list and the 20-year-old, who recently moved to the club from Corinthians, will still have to wait for his debut as he continues his spell on the sidelines through a lengthy injury.

With a three-goal involvement in the last three games, Andre Silva has been in fine form for Arouca and we expect the Brazilian forward to spearhead the attack on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the reigning champions will take to the pitch without youngster Goncalo Inacio, who hobbled off the pitch with a 21st-minute injury against Ajax in their Champions League opener two weeks ago.

The Portuguese defender is joined on the Sporting Lisbon's treatment table by countryman Pedro Goncalves, who sustained a knee problem against Famalicao back in August.

Arouca possible starting lineup:
Castro; Thales, Ba, Basso, Quaresma; Valderrama, Pite, Moreira; Bukia, Araujo, Silva

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Neto, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Palhinha, Nunes, Reis; Sarabia, Santos, Paulinho

We say: Arouca 0-3 Sporting Lisbon

Arouca face an uphill task of taking on a high-flying Sporting Lisbon side who will be looking to quickly bounce back from their Champions League defeat last time out. Looking at past results between the two sides and their gulf in class and quality in their squads, we are tipping Ruben Amorim's men to come away with all three points unscathed.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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3Sporting Lisbon8620134920
4Estoril PraiaEstoril8431127515
7Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes824297210
9Gil Vicente8233101009
11Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira8233811-39
15Santa ClaraSanta Clara8134616-106
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