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Discussion Starter #1
One more torture session or the first day of the rest of our lives? That's how sportinguistas are seeing every game at this stage of the season.

We had a good first half at Setúbal and a gritty second half against Genk. That wasn't enough to give us a win in any of those matches but it gave a glimpse of hope of what might be the way Sporting will start rebuilding the team after this horrendous first third of this 12/13 season.

We are facing tonight a club that likes to see itself as the "new 3rd big club" in Portugal, something that always makes me chuckle when I read it. They are playing much better football than we are (who isn't these days?), they made life very hard to Man Utd in a double bill at the CL very recently, and they have a good and balanced squad. Arguably they are favourites to win this one. All the odds are against us, let's see how the team reacts to that.

Vercauteren called the following players for today's match:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício and Marcelo Boeck

Defenders: Xandão, Marcos Rojo, Eric Dier, Danijel Pranjic, Ricardo Esgaio and Emiliano Insúa

Midfielders: Stijn Schaars, Marat Izmailov, Diego Capel, André Carrillo, Zakarya Labyad, Fito Rinaudo, Adrien, Elias and Gelson Fernandes

Forwards: Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Valentín Viola and Betinho

The big question mark is on the RB position. Will Franky field Gelson as a makeshift option or will he bet in the new star of our B team Esgaio?
 

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We are facing tonight a club that likes to see itself as the "new 3rd big club" in Portugal, something that always makes me chuckle when I read it.
Why does it make you chuckle?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why does it make you chuckle?
Because that's a pathetic claim. They are even more provincial than Porto and that's a big feat. :smileani:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The line-up is out and it will be the England U21 international Eric Dier that will occupy the RB position. Pranjic and Carrillo are also returning to the first team:

Rui Patrício

Eric Dier - Xandão - Marcos Rojo - Insúa

Elias - Schaars

Carrillo - Pranjic - Diego Capel

Ricky van Wolfswinkel



 

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Discussion Starter #5
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

RICKYYYYYYYY :finger:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Eric Dier sends a perfect assist to RvW who was faster than his marker. Great start.
 

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Liga 12/13, J9| SPORTING - Braga| Alvalade, 11.11.2012, 21:15 CET

Btw was there media criticism of Van Wolfswinkel coz of him apparently sticking up his middle finger at loser fans booing him?

(Didnt think it was a middle finger btw)

Sent from my BlackBerry 9360 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Veeeeery dubious offside call on RvW who was completely alone in front of the keeper.

Braga answered with a very dangerous header by Éder but Patrício saved spectacularly for a corner.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Btw were there media criticism of Van Wolfswinkel coz of him apparently sticking up his middle finger at loser fans booing him?

(Didnt think it was a middle finger btw)

Sent from my BlackBerry 9360 using Tapatalk
I'll tell you at HT
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great chance by Wolfswinkel but Beto saves for a corner.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Carrillo is on fire today
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hugo Viana escapes from seeing at least a yellow after hacking van Wolfswinkel.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Another huge chance for us with Elias alone against the keeper but Beto saved again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Another good shot this time by Pranjic but straight at the keeper
 

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Discussion Starter #15
SPORTING 1-0 Braga at HT
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's hard to be happier after what Sporting did in this first half. OK, if we could have at least buried one of the two huge chances we created to make another one I'd be even happier but still this is what all sportinguistas have been craving for since the start of this gruesome season.

Vercauteren got it spot on tactically, as instead of keeping Viola as a supporting striker behind RvW, he fielded the returned Pranjic who seems much more fitted to a game like this, both attacking and defending.

The return of Carrillo is also one great reason for this rebirth of our attacking midfield as he is hungry for showing what he is capable of.

The other good casting choice was Eric Dier. The eighteen year old was brilliant in these first 45', assisting van Wolfswinkel with a killer pass for the goal, cancelling Alan on the left side of Braga's attack and showing a composure and a calm that Cedric, our usual RB, could only dream of.

Keep it up! :fero:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Btw was there media criticism of Van Wolfswinkel coz of him apparently sticking up his middle finger at loser fans booing him?

(Didnt think it was a middle finger btw)
That was a perfect example of the way Sporting is treated by the Lisbon press which is more red than Stalin. Ricky didn't look over excited when celebrating his goal against Genk but still kissed his ring, as he usually does after scoring, and raised his hand to celebrate. The press took a snapshot of him with his hand up and made it look as if he was giving the finger to the fans, which was clearly not true.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Capel almost lobs Beto but the ball touches the top of the crossbar
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Capel has a great chance but once again Beto saved their asses
 

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Discussion Starter #20
At 62' our first sub: Gelson IN for Pranjic.
 
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