The Portuguese League Cup is on this week with one of the more decent matches on tap featuring two teams that were eliminated from the Europa League: Sporting Lisbon and Maritimo.The sixth annual edition of the Portuguese League Cup is under way now with Sporting Lisbon looking to build some momentum when it travels to the island of Madeira to face the former home of Canadian international Alex Bunbury, Maritimo, in the opening match of the third round group stage.
The League Cup is a different competition from the Portuguese Cup and features only the teams from the top two flights in Portuguese soccer.
In the league tables, Sporting Lisbon has struggled mightily in one of its worst starts in club history. Sporting currently sits in 10th spot in the 16-team league and only sits two points safe from the relegation zone which is something unheard of for one of Portuguese soccer's big three clubs.
A more worying concern is that it has yet to win on the road this season, with a record of 0-2-4 (W-L-T) while the team's goal production has averaged less than a goal game.
Luckily for Sporting, the League Cup is usually an opportunity for teams to try out new and emerging players and the Lisbon side certainly has a lot of depth. Sporting's academy is one of the most famous in world soccer, having produced the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, and Luis Figo over the years, and the team will certainly be looking at testing out some young and hungry players who wish to make an impact in hopes of receiving a callup for league play.
The visitors right now are favoured to win the match with a payout of 2.40 over at Uwin.com.
The draw is being listed at 3.15 and is my preferred selection of the outright market offerings.
Maritimo comes into the match up a single point on Sporting in the league standings, but it is been average at best so far at home, with a solitary win coming from its six matches at Estádio dos Barreiros while drawing three others. The hosts are currently listed at odds of 2.82.
Maritimo also hasn't seen a lot of goals at home, scoring only four and allowing six, which combined is an average of 1.67 per match. Add to that Sporting's inability to score (0.83 per away match), and you have the makings of a low scoring affair. The under 2.5 is of low value (1.61) while the under 1.5 goes up a bit to 2.90.
A draw/draw result in the halftime/fulltime is at 4.65, while a 1-0 result for the home side is at 6.55. The visitors with the same result can be had at 5.90.
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