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Sport Europa League: LASK opponents Sporting had to isolate the entire club in the Marriott Hotel

17:15  30 september  2020
17:15  30 september  2020 Source:   spox.com

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On Thursday, LASK will face Sporting in the Europa League qualification. Before that, however, the traditional Portuguese club had to fight massively with the corona pandemic and was recently even completely quarantined.

  Europa League: LASK-Gegner Sporting musste kompletten Klub im Marriott-Hotel isolieren © Provided by SPOX

The coronavirus has been rampant in the "Löwen" squad for over two weeks now. When it became known that Coach Amorim and some players had tested positive, the entire club went into quarantine. All kickers and supervisors - including those who tested negative - spent a week on a specially rented floor in the Marriott Hotel. Incidentally, LASK has now also reserved a stick there.

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The opening game in the league has been postponed, nine players and coach Ruben Amorim, who was in self-isolation, were missing in the rise over Aberdeen in the third qualifying round. The 35-year-old was not on the bench in the 2-0 win against Pacos de Ferreira at the weekend. His assistant, Emanuel Ferro, said afterwards that it was "impossible" to say when Amorim would be available again. The head coach allegedly observed the training sessions via video. After all, two professionals returned against Ferreira, who had been absent after a positive Covid-19 test the previous week.

2: 1, Sporting beat LASK almost exactly a year ago (October 3, 2019) in front of a home crowd. Marko Raguz scored first for the Upper Austrians, who then missed a higher lead. Goals from Luiz Phellype and then Sporting star Bruno Fernandes turned the game. Neither will be seen on Thursday. Fernandes, who was spared the 3-0 win in the second leg of Linz, said goodbye to Manchester United for at least 55 million euros in January. The Brazilian Luiz Phellype has not played a game since January after a serious knee injury. There were also some other changes in the squad. For example, winger Marcos Acuna was sold to Europa League winners Sevilla FC in the summer.

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Sporting squad probably badly thinned out

The game against LASK will be "a different one. We are a big club and we have to aim for victory in every game," said defender Sebastian Coates after the win on Sunday. Against Ferreira, Ferro had bet on the same starting XI as against Aberdeen. The press immediately raised the subject of fatigue. For the coach, the thinned roster was nothing to worry about. "Of course we would like everyone to be ready for Thursday, including Ruben Amorim. When everyone is back, the team will be stronger. But we will also play to win on Thursday," said Ferro. Ultimately, the decision rests with the health authorities.

For Sporting it was at least a successful start to the season. The traditional club will not play for the championship title this season either. As a member of the "Tres Grandes" - the "Big Three" - the club, with over 100,000 active members, is panting behind Benfica and Porto. Last season was 22 points behind champions Porto and still 17 points behind their city rivals. Sporting only finished fourth behind Braga. As a trainer, Silas had to leave in March.

Since the inglorious attack by hooligans on their own team in spring 2018 and the associated departure of some professionals, Sporting has not really gotten going. The wait for the 19th championship title, the first since 2002, will continue. During the tough season, the corona crisis also triggered financial worries. Sporting cut players' salaries by 40 percent for three months in April, and the board also agreed to a 50 percent wage cut. According to press reports, the millions for Fernandes have so far been used to plug financial holes instead of becoming active on the transfer market.

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