Preview: Sporting Lisbon vs. Vizela
Sporting Lisbon take on Vizela at the Jose Alvalade Stadium in the latest round of Primeira Liga fixtures on Friday evening.
The home side are fourth in the standings, while the visitors are now up to eighth, having won two of their three games since the season resumed after the World Cup.
Sporting have so far been unable to replicate their 2021-22 campaign, in which they were title contenders, and they are now sitting eight points behind Porto, the team that occupy third place.
Having Champions League football to contend with has clearly caught up with the Green and Whites, as on three occasions they have lost the game immediately following their midweek European outing, including a particularly disappointing 1-0 defeat against third-tier side Varzim.
It is away form that has cost Ruben Amorim’s side most often, picking up just 11 points in nine away matches, while also having a negative goal difference on their travels, losing to the likes of Boavista and Arouca.
Form somewhat started to pick up for Sporting at the beginning of November, going on a winning run of seven games in all competitions, winning 5-0 in back-to-back matches against Maritimo and Braga.
However, the Green and Whites again came up short on their travels in their first game of 2022, losing 1-0 away at Maritimo, although they did pick up what can be viewed as a decent point on the road against league leaders Benfica last time out, drawing 2-2.
Vizela have very much managed to build on a 14th-placed finish last season, currently just six points off the top five after a run of three wins in four Primeira Liga games.
Considering the disparity between the two teams on paper, Vizelenses have a very good away record, having picked up 11 points in one game fewer than their opponents, which should give them confidence heading into Friday night’s game.
Being compact at the back has been vital for Alvaro Pacheco’s side, shipping just 15 goals in their 16 games so far, the fourth-best record in the Primeira Liga.
However, what does not bode well is the fact that Vizela have lost the last four competitive meetings between the two sides, failing to score a goal in their two encounters last season, also falling to a 3-0 defeat at this ground in August 2021.
It is Vizelenses that have been emerging as 3-0 victors in recent matches, however, winning their last two home games by that scoreline, with Milutin Osmajic bagging a brace in a comfortable victory against Maritimo last weekend.
Sporting Lisbon Primeira Liga form:
Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions):
Vizela Primeira Liga form:
Vizela form (all competitions):
We say: Sporting Lisbon 2-0 Vizela
Even though Sporting have struggled away from home at times, they have made their home ground a fortress, winning six of their seven games at the Jose Alvalade Stadium.
As such, there is no reason why they should not emerge as comfortable winners against a team that they are eight points clear of in the Primeira Liga table.