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Portugal Primera Liga - Match Prediction: SC Farense VS Sporting Lisbon
Match Time：4/17/2021 04:00 Saturday (GMT+8)
Portugal Primera Liga -- SC Farense VS Sporting Lisbon
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Sporting Lisbon will look to stretch their lead at the top of the Primeira Liga table on Friday, when they travel to take on SC Farense.
After two consecutive league draws, the gap between the league leaders and second-placed Porto has been cut to six points, while the hosts now sit three points adrift of safety at the opposite end of the division.
Farense come into this game on the back of two consecutive league defeats, and four losses from their last five Primeira Liga games.
Last time out, Jorge Costa's side fell to a 1-0 defeat in a crucial game at the bottom of the Primeira Liga table, when they travelled to take on Maritimo who sat just one point below them.
Ali Alipour put the hosts ahead on the stroke of half time, and Farense were unable to find an equaliser despite enjoying spells of dominance.
That followed a narrow defeat to fourth-placed Braga, as Pedro Henrique's equaliser after 30 minutes looked to have secured a point for Costa's side, until Andraz Sporar found the net in the 90th minute to seal a 2-1 win for the Archbishops.
As a result, Os Leoes de Faro have fallen into the automatic drop zone, now sitting two points behind Maritimo in the relegation playoff place and three points adrift of automatic safety.
That means Costa will be desperate to put several much-needed victories on the board sooner rather than later, as his side look to avoid immediate relegation back to the second tier.
However, they could not face many tougher obstacles, as they welcome the league leaders who will battle hard to return to winning ways.
For the first time in their pursuit of the title this season, Ruben Amorim's side have shown small signs of faltering, drawing their last two league outings.
Firstly, Os Leoes looked set to see out a 1-0 away victory over Moreirense thanks to Paulinho's early finish, but Walterson netted an equaliser for the visitors in the 90th minute to force Sporting to settle for a point.
After that, Os Verde e Brancos hosted strugglers Famalicao, and they took the lead through Pedro Goncalves before Anderson instantly equalised for the visitors, and the Estadio Jose Alvalade outfit were unable to retake the lead.
Despite that, Amorim's men remain in pole position for their first Primeira Liga title since 2002, sitting six points ahead of second-placed Porto with eight league games left to play.
They have earned the top spot by remaining undefeated in league action this campaign, accumulating a tally of 66 points from a possible 78 after 26 games of the season.
However, Amorim will be desperate to return to winning ways on Friday, and his side will feel that they cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to keep hold of the top spot, as Porto remain in hot pursuit.
SC Farense Primeira Liga form: DLLWLL
Sporting Lisbon Primeira Liga form: DWWWDD
Farense's only absentees should be winger Lica and midfielder Fabricio Isidoro, after they both missed the Maritimo defeat through injury.
Midfielder Ryan Gauld will line up against his former club, having hit the best form of his career at Farense after his eye-catching move from Dundee United to Sporting Lisbon at the age of 18.
Gauld has been the key man for Farense this season, keeping them competitive with seven goals and five assists in 25 Primeira Liga matches.
Sporting Lisbon could remain without young centre-back Goncalo Inacio, who missed the game against Famalicao through injury.
In his absence, Luis Neto came into the back three alongside Zouhair Feddal and captain Sebastian Coates.
The line will be led by Paulinho, who recently netted his first Sporting Lisbon goal following his move from Braga in the January transfer window.
He will be supported by the attacking threat of Pedro Goncalves, who took his tally to 16 league goals in 24 games this season with the opener last time out.
SC Farense possible starting lineup:
Beto; Tavares, Cesar, Mancha, Abner; Lucca, Oudrhiri; Queta, Gauld, Mansilla; Henrique
Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Neto, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Mario, Palhinha, Mendes; Goncalves, Paulinho, Tomas
SC Farense VS Sporting Lisbon
SC Farense 0-2 Sporting Lisbon
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