JAMIE HILL - Friday, September 23, 2011
Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting will host Setúbal in search of their fourth straight win, while Tony Taylor and Caleb Patterson-Sewell will visit Arouca hoping to extend a three game streak.
Sporting CP - Vitória Setúbal
Coming off three consecutive wins on the road, two in the league and one in Europe, Gooch and the crew will welcome Setúbal to the Estádio José Alvalade on 9/24.
Sporting have taken just a single point from their two home games so far this season, but will hope to carry their road form back to Lisbon and gain ground on league leaders Porto and Benfica who square off on Friday night.
Onyewu, who has started all three of the games during the brief winning streak, will likely again be paired with Alberto Rodriguez in the center of defense as Captain Daniel Carriço continues to struggle with an injury.
Sporting's leading scorer, Marat Izmailov, will also miss out through injury, as will former Barcelona attacker Jéffren. But the hosts will be confident of finding the net anyway, having scored eight times during the streak.
Setúbal will make the short drive across the Tagus River looking to jump Sporting in the standings, as they currently sit just one point behind in seventh place.
Arouca - Atlético CP
Just like their Lisbon neighbors, Atlético also enter the weekend looking for their fourth consecutive win.
The leaders of the Liga de Honra will travel to northern Portugal to take on seventh place Arouca, who have one win and one tie in the Estádio Municipal so far.
Coming off a goal-scoring home debut last week, Florida native Taylor will likely again be called upon to start in a three-man front line.
Patterson-Sewell, who has picked the ball out of his own net just once in four league games, is also expected to take his customary position in goal.