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

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

Fresh off the back of sealing their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League, high-flying Sporting Lisbon welcome Tondela to the Estadio Jose Alvalade on Sunday.

The visitors, on the other hand, secured their spot in the next round of the Taca de Portugal courtesy of a home win over Leixoes and will be seeking a third consecutive win in all competitions.

Match preview

Sporting Lisbon became the latest team to ink their name in the knockout stages of the Champions League as they eased to a dominant 3-1 victory over German powerhouse Dortmund.

In a game where Emre Can received his marching orders, the Portuguese champions dominated proceedings and would go three goals up through a first-half brace from Pedro Goncalves and Pedro Porro's 81st-minute penalty rebound, before Donyell Malen grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors in the 93rd minute.

Ruben Amorim's side now turn their attention to the Primeira Liga, where they claimed a 2-0 win over Pacos de Ferreira at the Estadio Capital do Movel in their most recent league outing on November 7.

In that encounter, the game sparked into life shortly after the interval courtesy of Goncalo Inacio's 47th-minute opener before Goncalves sealed the result in the 69th minute to extend the hosts' four-game winless run.

Leoes have kicked off their title defence on a solid note and are currently on a run of seven straight wins in the Primeira Liga, while they have won each of their last 10 across all competitions

This blistering run of results sees Sporting Lisbon sit level on 29 points with Porto at the summit of the league standings and this has been in no small part owing to their solid display at opposite ends of the pitch.

The reigning champions have scored 17 goals to date, while they boast the division's meanest defence with just four goals conceded after 11 matches played.

Meanwhile, Tondela returned to winning ways on November 7 as they stormed to an emphatic 4-2 victory over league strugglers Maritimo at the Estadio Joao Cardoso.

Joao Pedro put on a clinic as he hit a first-half hat-trick to put Tondela in a commanding three-goal lead and after Maritimo threatened with a late comeback through strikes from Matheus Costa and Ali Alipour, Pedro Augusto made sure of the result in the ninth minute of injury time to put the hosts two goals up.

Prior to that, CDT Auriverdes suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Porto on October 23 before losing 2-0 against 10-man Arouca a little under one week later.

Pako Ayestaran's men head into Sunday's game fresh off the back of progressing into the fifth round of the Taca de Portugal after claiming a 3-1 win over Segunda Liga side Leixoes last Monday.

Tondela, who secured a 13th-placed finish last term, are currently ninth on the log with 12 points from 11 matches and the Spanish head coach will hope his side can keep the juggernaut rolling and strengthen their position in the top half of the table in the coming weeks.

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

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

Tondela Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

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

Team News

Twenty-three-year-old forward Jovane Cabral is set to continue his spell on the sidelines after coming off with a muscle injury in the Taca de Portugal game against Varzim last week.

He is joined on the club's injury table by Portuguese defender Ruben Vinagre, who is set to sit out his fourth consecutive game through an ankle problem he sustained against Besiktas three weeks back.

However, Sporting Lisbon will be boosted by the return of the duo of forward Tiago Tomas and centre-back Sebastian Coates, who both returned to the fold against Dortmund last time out having recovered from their respective injuries.

With eight goals in his last four games across all competitions, Pedro Goncalves appears to have found his scoring boots this season and the Portuguese sensation will definitely be one to look out for.

Meanwhile, doubts remain over the availability of Brazilian defender Neto Borges, who has missed Tondela's last two games through a slight injury.

Should the 25-year-old fail to make his return this weekend, Algerian full-back Naoufel Khacef could be handed his third starting appearance on the trot.

Jota Goncalves is also out of contention for the visitors after the Portuguese youngster sustained a knee injury 12 minutes into the game against Estoril Praia on September 13.

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

Tondela possible starting lineup:
Trigueira; Khacef, Riol, Sagnan, Almeida; Dantas, Undabarrena, Pedro; Agra, Dadashov, Murillo

We say: Sporting Lisbon 3-0 Tondela

Sporting Lisbon are currently on a roll and appear simply unstoppable at the moment given the way they have been playing in recent months. After picking up successive wins last time out, we expect Tondela to put up a fight in this one; however, we anticipate the hosts will extend their dominance in this fixture and claim their fourth straight win over the visitors.

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