Our football match prediction:
Despite being regarded as hot favourites to win the first leg, Sporting Club de Portugal played out a goalless draw with Steaua in Lisbon. The Lions failed to create a descent goal-scoring opportunity in the first leg, but they did well to keep a clean sheet in the draw with the Romanian side and that is giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the trip to Bucharest. Both sides are likely to adopt a cautious approach in Wednesday’s football match and we predict that they are going to play out yet another draw in the Champions League qualifiers. A man to watch in the away team will be pacey winger Gelson Martins, who is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders in the return leg. It has to be noted that the hosts will be without Mihai Pintilii, who was sent off in the first leg.
Highlighted Player (Rui Patricio):
Sporting Lisbon and Portugal national team goalkeeper Rui Patricio is a one-club man. He was reportedly close to signing with Serie A giants Inter Milan during the 2008 of-season, but he remained in his club where he will most likely hang up his boots when the time comes. The 28-year-old shot stopper spent most of his career with the Lions making his debut with the first-team at only 18 years of age. Rui Patricio went on to appear in more than 350 official games for the Portugal greats and remains the first-choice keeper for his club and country. Having gone through all the youth selections with the national team, Rui Patricio was given his first senior cap in 2010 after Paulo Bento’s appointment. Rui Patricio represented his national team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and three European Championships. The 28-year-old was the mainstay in Portugal’s historic Euro 2016 title in France.
Highlighted Team (Sporting Portugal):
When it comes to official club members, Portugal giants Sporting Lisbon are the sixth club in the world. Commonly referred to as Leoes which is Portuguese for Lions, Sporting Lisbon were founded in 1906 and are one of the founders of the Primeira Liga. Sporting’s main rivals are Benfica, with both teams contesting the Lisbon Derby, one of the most fierce ones in Europe. Lions play their games at Estadio Jose Alvelade in front of 50,000 people and are the third most successful club in the country with 46 titles in Portuguese competitions and a title in the European Cup Winner’s Cup from 1963-64. During this time that is also known as the club’s golden years, Sporting Lisbon won the majority of their 18 Primeira Liga titles in total. Sporting Lisbon boasts the quality football youth academy system which has yielded world-class footballers such as Paulo Furte, Simao Sabrosa, Nani and Ballon d’Or winners Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.