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Jan 16, 2022 at 6pm UK
Sporting LisbonSporting Lisbon

Afonso (73'), Cassiano (89'), Guzzo (90')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Goncalves (28'), Braganca (42')
Coates (3'), Palhinha (70'), Santos (89')

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

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

Following a harmful defeat last time out, Primeira Liga champions Sporting Lisbon will look to bounce back to winning ways on Sunday, when they travel to take on newly-promoted Vizela.

A 3-2 loss to Santa Clara saw the visitors drop three points behind Porto at the summit of the Primeira Liga table, while their hosts had a meeting with Porto of their own on Wednesday, with a cup clash ending in a 3-1 defeat.

Match preview

After winning promotion to the Portuguese top flight last season, Vizela had to battle through a difficult start to the campaign, winning just two of their opening 15 league games and losing the season opener 3-0 to Sunday's visitors.

Alvaro Pacheco's side did earn seven draws in that time though, ensuring they remained ahead of the bottom three, before they recorded an important 2-0 victory over basement side Belenenses thanks to goals from Kiko and Cassiano.

They were unable to build on that, falling to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Moreirense in their most recent league outings, before a Taca de Portugal quarter-final clash with giants Porto ended in a 3-1 loss despite Cassiano's first-half leveller.

While that cup result is by no means embarrassing, Pacheco will be keen for his side, who now sit just one point above the relegation playoff place and two points above the bottom two, to quickly correct their league form to climb away from the threat of the drop.

They could not face many tougher tests in their search for a victory though, as title-chasing Sporting Lisbon arrive hoping to bounce back to winning ways after a shock defeat to strugglers Santa Clara in their last league outing.

While Ruben Amorim's men led on two separate occasions through Joao Palhinha and Pablo Sarabia, Jean Patric and Lincoln drew the hosts level before Ricardinho condemned the defending champions to their first league defeat of the season with a 78th-minute winner.

Before that, Os Leoes had established themselves alongside Porto at the top of the Primeira Liga table, earning 44 points from the opening 16 outings after their first league triumph in 19 years last season.

They bounced back in style on Tuesday, thrashing Leca 4-0 away from home in the Taca de Portugal quarter-final, with Bruno Tabata netting a brace alongside goals from Matheus Nunes and Nuno Santos.

Having now dropped three points behind an unwavering Porto side, in a season in which they have secured qualification to the Champions League knockout stage, Os Leoes will be desperate to not lose any more ground in the race for a second straight title with the opportunity of another standout season for Amorim and his squad.

Vizela Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Vizela form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

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

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

Team News

Vizela have to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak in their squad, with Charles, Marcos Paulo, Bruno Wilson, Samu, Kevin Zohi, Nuno Moreira and Kiko Bondoso all set to isolate, while Claudemir is injured and Koffi Kouao will serve a suspension.

As a result, Pacheco will again have to field a makeshift XI, with little room for change from the Porto clash.

Sporting Lisbon also have several injuries to contend with, as winger Jovane Cabral and important full-backs Pedro Porro and Ruben Vinagre are expected to miss out.

Paulinho will lead the line with confidence, having hit a hat-trick in their victory over Portimonense prior to the Santa Clara defeat, while winger Pedro Goncalves has netted four goals and provided five assists in 13 league games this season after firing them to the title with 23 goals last term.

Paris Saint-Germain loanee Pablo Sarabia will likely complete the front three with Joao Palhinha and Matheus Nunes handling business in the engine room and captain Sebastian Coates leading a solid back three.

Vizela possible starting lineup:
Silva; Juliao, Ofori, Kiki, Maviram; Mendez, Zagbayou, Guzzo; Cassiano, Schettine, Cann

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Inacio, Coates, Feddal; Esgaio, Nunes, Palhinha, Reis; Goncalves, Paulinho, Sarabia

We say: Vizela 0-3 Sporting Lisbon

Given Vizela's squad issues, Sporting Lisbon should fancy themselves to record a dominant win on Sunday.

With the need to bounce back in a heated title race, Amorim's men will aim to put the newly-promoted side to the sword with their imposing front line.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win 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.Away Win:data

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Primeira Liga Table
2Sporting Lisbon21172241132853
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10Santa ClaraSanta Clara216692539-1424
12Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira214981524-921
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