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Mar 13, 2021 at 8.30pm UK
Sporting LisbonSporting Lisbon

Khacef (40'), Olabe (52'), Alves (60')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Tomas (81')
Coates (44')

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

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

Sporting Lisbon will be looking to further strengthen their position at the top of the Primeira Liga table on Saturday, when they travel to the Estadio Joao Cardoso to take on Tondela.

The visitors come into this game off the back of a narrow 2-1 win over Santa Clara, while Tondela will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-0 away defeat to Portimonense last time out.

Match preview

Despite a recent upturn in form, Tondela took a large backwards step last Saturday when they lost 3-0 away at strugglers Portimonense.

A brace from Beto and a goal from Aylton Boa Morte condemned Pako Ayestaran's side to a 12th league defeat of the season, after they had previously won two of their last three games.

One of those victories came when Joao Pedro scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in just the fourth minute against Gil Vicente, after Ruben Fernandes was shown an even earlier red card for the visitors.

As a result of their better form in recent weeks, Ayestaran's men have seen a quick rise up the table, now sitting in 10th spot with a five-point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone.

However, they face a very tough task as they look to return to winning ways here, hosting a Sporting Lisbon side who are storming towards the Primeira Liga title.

In their last league game, Sporting looked set to play out a 1-1 draw at home to Santa Clara, after Rui Costa's 84th-minute equaliser cancelled out Pedro Goncalves's opener.

However, just as he did in the 2-1 victory over Gil Vicente in February, Os Leoes' captain Sebastian Coates popped up with an added-time winner to seal an 18th league victory of the season for the side from the capital.

Before that, Os Verde e Brancos played out a goalless draw with Porto, securing an important point to fend off one of the sides in pursuit of the top spot.

The Estadio Jose Alvalade outfit remain unbeaten in the top flight so far this campaign, having picked up 58 points from a possible 66 after 22 games of the season.

As a result, Ruben Amorim's men look set to lift their first Primeira Liga title since 2002, and the 19th in their history, currently sitting nine points clear of second-placed Braga with 12 league games left to play.

That is in no small part down to their solid defensive record, with no side conceding as few as the 11 that Os Verde e Brancos have shipped so far this season.

Their attack has more than pulled its weight too, with only Porto topping the 44 goals that Sporting have netted from their 22 matches.

They will be looking to take another step towards the title on Saturday, with a win moving them 12 points clear at the top of the table until Porto and Braga play their games on Sunday and Monday respectively.

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

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

Team News

Tondela will remain without goalkeeper Joel Sousa and defender Jota Goncalves, with both players continuing lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Mario Gonzalez will lead the line for Ayestaran's side, having netted six league goals so far this season.

Sporting Lisbon will be without striker Paulinho, who remains out with a hamstring injury after his arrival from Braga in the January transfer window.

They could also be missing Pedro Porro, as the exciting Manchester City loanee was absent for the win over Santa Clara with an injury.

In his absence, Matheus Nunes featured on the right-hand side last time out, and he could keep that position for this game.

That allowed Bruno Tabata to come into the starting side in the attacking spot that Nunes previously filled, with the Brazilian looking for another start on Saturday.

Pedro Goncalves will have renewed confidence coming into this match, after the Primeira Liga top scorer netted his 15th league goal of the season and his first in five games last time out.

Tondela possible starting lineup:
Trigueira; Almeida, Tavares, Suarez, Ferreira; Pedro, Grau, Olabe; Murillo, Gonzalez, Agra

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Inacio, Coates, Feddal; Nunes, Mario, Palhinha, Mendes; Goncalves, Tomas, Tabata

We say: Tondela 0-2 Sporting Lisbon

Looking at their performance levels this campaign, it is difficult to predict anything other than a Sporting Lisbon victory in any game that they play, despite Tondela's recent improvements.

Their fierce combination of attack and defence should see them to an away victory here, as we do not see a way that the hosts will break down Amorim's men, while only Porto have managed to keep a clean sheet against the league leaders in Primeira Liga action this season.

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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