October 4, 2012
Sa Pinto prepares for friendly foes
Team Stat Comparison
|Videoton FC Fehervar||Sporting Lisbon|
|Goals for *||1.7||0.3|
|Goals against *||0.7||2.7|
|Last 5 home||L-W-W-D-W||W-D-D-W|
|Last 5 away||L-L-L-D-W||L-L-L-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Videoton FC Fehervar | Sporting Lisbon|
Sporting Lisbon coach Ricardo Sa Pinto will come up against some familiar faces when he bids to claim a steadying win away to Hungarian side Videoton.
Sa Pinto has endured a poor start to his first full season in charge of Sporting, having seen his side win just one of their opening five league games.
Sporting's Europa League group stage campaign also began in a damp squib a fortnight ago when they were held to a goalless draw at home to Basel.
That has left 39-year-old Sa Pinto, who won 45 caps for Portugal as a player, under some pressure as he takes his side to Hungary for a game they will be expected to win.
Sa Pinto will know, however, not to expect an easy night with his former Portugal team-mate Paulo Sousa in charge of the home side.
Sousa has overseen a Portuguese-led revolution since his arrival in Szekesfehervar with former Sporting defender Marco Caneira, who spent three spells at the club before leaving last year, at the heart of their improving fortunes.
Despite that Sousa believes his side will need Sporting to make mistakes if they are to topple his former club.
"We have to be at our best,'' Sousa told www.uefa.com.
"Sporting have a strong squad, full of internationals. We have to play a very organised and disciplined game.''
Sousa also offered a vote of confidence for Sa Pinto, adding: "I wish him all the best. I am sure he will be successful.
"He is methodical, precise and wants to control every detail - and he is ambitious. But hopefully he will make mistakes against us.''
After their poor league start Sa Pinto has taken a weakened side to Hungary as he looks to rest his key names for the weekend trip to Porto.
Elias, Diego Capel and Andre Carrillo have all been given the game off while a knee injury sidelines defender Bruno Pereirinha.
Former Holland international Khalid Boulahrouz could offset his loss, however, after being passed fit following a thigh problem.
Sporting have never won a competitive fixture in Hungary, losing all three games they have played in the country, but may be enthused after Videoton lost their opener 3-0 to Genk.