Our football match prediction:
It has been five years since Basel and Sporting last met on the international stage. Back then Basel rolled over Sporting (3-0) in the Europa League and the Swiss side certainly want history to repeat itself. The RotBlau have been producing fine showings in preseason and they are definitely capable of beating the Lions in Saturday’s football match. It has to be noted that Basel face Sporting in their last warm-up game before the start of the new Super League campaign, meaning that coach Raphael Wicky is going to field the best possible side against the Portuguese outfit. Sporting finished the 2016/2017 Primeira Liga campaign in third place in the standings and they certainly want to make amends for the “unsuccessful season”. The Lions are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach against Basel, but the RotBlau want this win more and we predict that they will emerge triumphant in Saturday’s clash.
Highlighted Player (Birkir Bjarnason):
The 28-year-old Icelandic central midfielder Birkir Bjarnason bearing a striking nickname Thor in his homeland is a footballing nomad, having played for no less than seven clubs in less than ten years of his professional careers. After spells in Belgium and Italy, the Iceland midfielder moved to FC Basel in 2015 to amass 29 Swiss Super League appearances and add 10 goals in his club’s title-winning campaign. Following a successful season at club level, the versatile midfielder Birkir Bjarnason, who is equally apt to perform as a striker, made striking appearance during the Euro 2016 in France. His commanding appearances made him a key player for the minnows Iceland as they knocked England out to reach the quarter finals of the tournament. Despite heavy summer interest from several English sides, Bjarnason remained with the Swiss champions and is expected to play a key role in their Champions League campaign.
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.