Reinforcement can help
For the first time this season, Rúben Amorim had a week of work to prepare a game – in this case against Famalicão, Sunday at 20:30 – with all the players he has in the midfield – in fact, the only casualty is central St. . And the main doubt is whether the coach will repeat one of the two pairs he has already used in the middle – Morita/Bragança, against Vizela, and Morita/Pote, against Casa Pia – or if, on the contrary, he will bet on the reinforcement Dane Morten Hjulmand as partner of the Japanese.
A possibility that gains strength for more than one reason. The signing of this player from Lecce was greatly desired by the coach – and required a major financial effort of 18 million euros – as he understands that Hjulmand adds a physical dimension to the squad that was lost with the departure of Ugarte. Now, after two games in which Sporting conceded three goals, with the coach identifying problems not only in defense but also a lack of pressure on the midline to prevent the unfolding of the shots that would end in a goal, the player coming from Italy may be the bet to help lock the goal. Moreover, in the last match, in the phase of greater pressure for Casa Pia, when they were trying to reach a tie after the lions made it 2-1, Amorim brought on Hjulmand in the 75th minute, advancing Pedro Gonçalves to the attack. And the Dane’s response was convincing. « Morten came to give a lot of quality to the positional game. They didn’t see him make many moves, but he had the ball many times. He’s very strong in the tackle », commented the coach at the end.
Now, facing a rival, Famalicão, which has technically good performers and has fast forwards, Hjulmand’s characteristics may weigh more on the scales than the offensive capacity that Pote adds – not least because he can be as or more decisive playing in the attack – and that security with the ball from Bragança, who got along well with Morita in the first half of the game with Vizela, before being injured.
There is also another side of the equation that could favor the use of Hjulmand on Sunday: the next game will be in Braga and Amorim will want to accelerate the integration of the reinforcement into the team’s dynamics, in order to provide a good response in the match of Quarry, with a high degree of difficulty.