PREVIEW: CD FÁTIMA - GD ESTORIL PRAIA
After a week off followed by two cup games, Estoril finally return to league action when Tony Taylor and crew visit Fátima on Sunday.
CD Fátima - GD Estoril Praia
Os Canarinhos' visit to the Estádio Municipal de Fátima will be their first Liga Orangina game in over three weeks, and the second place visitors will be anxious to put some distance between themselves and the hosts, who sit a mere point behind.
Both teams are coming off midweek ties against opponents from the first division in the Taça da Liga, just as both were eliminated from the Taça de Portugal the previous week. The major difference in results comes from the fact that Estoril were knocked out by Portuguese giants Sporting, while Fátima were humbled by Carregado, a club from Portugal's third level of soccer.
Estoril will enter the game with only one significant injury question, as first-choice midfielder João Coimbra continues to struggle with a right thigh issue. Brazilian Erick took his place in the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against Rio Ave, and is likely to maintain the spot barring a recovery by Coimbra.
Tony Taylor also earned the start against Rio Ave, but he will be in competition with both Paulo Sergio and Clodoaldo to see who is paired with leading scorer Alex Afonso come Sunday. Both Brazilians entered Wednesday's game as substitutes, and have previously started in the league this season, something Taylor is yet to do.
Making lineup predictions even harder is the fact that head coach Vinícius Eutrópio, as well as his assistant Luis Roquette, will likely remain suspended for the second game in a row after having been ejected in the loss to Sporting.
Curiously, the coaching staff divided Thursday's training session between two sites. Those that played against Rio Ave remained at their home field to practice, while the rest of the roster, including Bryan Arguez and Greg Garza, were sent to an off site location a few miles away.
Arguez has not appeared since the opening match on 8/8, while Garza has yet to be selected since his summer transfer.
Fellow Traffic Sports client Gale Agbossoumonde also continues to train with Estoril while he remains club-less.