Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Sporting CP continue life without influential midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who joined Manchester United in the January transfer window. The Lions have slim chances of winning the national championship, and, to make things even worse for the fans, they are unlikely to book their place in the Champions League. Winning the Europa League trophy seems to be the only way for Sporting CP to make it to the elite competition, and, no doubt, the hosts are likely to fight tooth and nail against Istanbul Basaksehir in the first leg of the last 32.
January signing Andraz Sporar is likely to make his Sporting CP debut in the Europa League on Thursday evening. The Turkish outfit, on the other hand, clinched top position in Group J thank to a 2-1 win at Borussia M’gladbach in their last group game. However, we are tempted to put our money on the Primeira Liga side this time out as they signed a couple of high-profile players following Bruno Fernandes’ departure.
Highlighted Player (Sebastian Coates):
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on October 7, 1990, Sebastian Coates is a 196-cm-tall defender who plays for Sporting CP in Primeira Liga. Coates is the product of the hometown club Nacional, and it has to be noted that he scored eight goals in 60 appearances for the capital club in the national championship.
After ending his spell with English club Sunderland, the Uruguay international moved to Portugal, signing a loan deal with Sporting CP in January 2016. He signed a permanent contract with the Lions in February 2017.
Speaking of his international career, Sebastian Coastes made his full Uruguay debut against Chile at the 2011 Copa America. La Celeste won the trophy, with the team beating Paraguay 3-0 in the final of the competition at Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires. Coates wears the number 4 shirt at Sporting CP, and his preferred foot is right.
Highlighted Team (Basaksehir):
Istanbul Basaksehir are one of the youngest clubs in Turkey. Founded in 1990, Istanbul Basaksehir play their home games at Fatih Terim Stadium, the venue that was opened in 2014. The Turkish club club have yet to win the national championship, but they did well to finish the 2016/2017 Super Lig campaign in second place in the standings.
As a result, Istanbul Basaksehir booked their place in the Champions League qualifiers and thanks to a win over Club Brugge in the two-legged tie the capital club set up a meeting with La Liga side Sevilla in the play-offs. Despite producing fine performances in the double-header against the star-studded Spanish side Istanbul Basaksehir eventually failed to make it to the Champions League group stages.
Nonetheless, the club will represent Turkey in the group stages of the Europa League in the 2017/2018 season. It has to be noted that the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Eljero Elia, Emre Belozoglu and Gael Clichy played for Istanbul Basaksehir in the 2017/2018 Champions League qualifiers.