Sporting CP will look to brush aside their Cup disappointment when they host an inconsistent Rio Ave side at Estadio Jose Alvalade in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. Sporting are top of the tally with 35 points from 13 matches. They are four points ahead of the nearest challengers FC Porto and Benfica ahead of this round. Rio Ave are 10th in the standings with 14 points from 13 matches. With the relegation zone teams only three points below them, the visitors have a lot to worry about their form.
Sporting lost 2-0 in the Portuguese Cup that blotted their record. They haven’t lost in any competition since the first week of October. In fact, Sporting are unbeaten in the league this season with 11 wins and two draws. They are the only unbeaten side in the division and have won nine of their last ten league games. The hosts have the second-best scoring record of the league with 30 goals, while their defence is the best with just eight goals conceded. Playing at home, Sporting have won their last five matches averaging 2.4 goals per game and conceding only two.
Rio Ave have lost their Cup game too, but are coming off a win in the league. That 3-0 win over Portimonense came after three successive losses, each time conceding at least two goals. They have scored only nine goals far, which is the joint-second worst scoring record in the entire division. Even with that poor scoring record in tow, the visitors have been able to hold forte in the top-ten because of their defensive record. They have conceded only 15 goals this season which is the joint seventh-best defensive record in the Primeira Liga. However, their struggles on the road are well-documented with Rio Ave losing their last three road trips and failing to score in their last four Primeira Liga away fixtures.