Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Sporting CP will be aiming to book their place in the Europa League last 32 when they take on Qarabag at Baki Olimpiya Stadionu on Thursday evening. The Lions did well to hold Arsenal to a goalless draw at Emirates Stadium in their last group game, but it has to be noted that the Gunners played without several first-team regulars. Anyhow, the Portuguese side moved one step closer to making it to the knockout stages of the Europa League and we predict that they are going to give fans yet another reason for celebration on Thursday as Qarabag have already suffered three defeats in the process. When the two teams met in Lisbon in September Sporting recorded a 2-0 win over Qarabag, which is yet another reason why we are tempted to put our money on the visitors in this one.
Highlighted Player (Jakub Rzezniczak):
The 29-year-old Polish defender Jakub Rzeźniczak plays for Legia Warsaw as a centre-back. Long-serving soldier for the Polish giants has been with the club since 2004 and has amassed more than 230 league appearances, performing as club’s captain and one of the most reliable first-team members. Rzezniczak helped Legia to four Ekstraklasa titles, six Polish Cup trophies and one Polish Supercup.
Following his 20 league appearances in the title-winning season for the Militarians, Jakub Rzezniczak struggled to keep his place in the team with his future with Legia put in serious doubt over the summer of 2016. Rzezniczak was heavily criticised, not only for his poor performances for the team, but only for fi equally poor attitude and social media activities which put a serious dent in his reputation and relationship with the Polish club.
Determined to get back in favour with both the club and the fans, Rzezniczak vowed to be at his best behaviour in order to make a serious contribution in his team’s UEFA Champions League challenge.
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.