FA CUP THIRD ROUND: UNIÃO DE LEIRIA-PORTIMONENSE
The two-week international break has allowed Fabrício and Pedro Sá, both missing against Porto last time out, to recover from injury in time for tomorrow’s (Friday) return to competitive action in the Portuguese FA Cup against Leiria.
Portimonense’s third round opponents held their place amongst Portugal’s top teams for many years until going into financial meltdown at the end of the 2011/12 season resulting in automatic relegation to the amateur ranks.
More recently, the once-proud club was taken over by an investment consortium headed up by former Moldovan player Alexander Tolstikov, albeit without any visible results to date as Leiria currently languish in 9th place of the regionalised third division.
The match should also offer a further opportunity for young forward Beto, scorer against Porto, but there is no such luck for creative midfielder Lucas Fernandes.
The 23-year-old Brazilian has torn his right knee cruciate ligaments and is not expected back this season following reconstructive surgery later this month.
By SKIP BANDELE