Our match prediction:
High-flying Sporting CP will be looking to build on a splendid 4-0 win over Nacional when they face Bayer Leverkusen in Thursday’s Europa League match. The Lions have been impressive under Jorge Jesus this season and considering that they scored eight goals in previous two home fixtures in the Europa League, there is every chance the hosts will record a win over the German outfit in the first leg. Roger Schmidt’s troops came from behind to beat Darmstadt at the weekend, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in Thursday’s game against Sporting. Jorge Jesus’ troops are a real force to be reckoned with at home and we believe that the likes of Islam Slimani and Bryan Ruiz are likely to pose a big threat for the visitors. Taking everything into account, we predict a narrow home win.
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.