Sporting vs Juventus Preview
Watch Sporting vs Juventus Preview, as they meet again on the second leg of the quarter finals in the Europa league at Estadio jose.
Beaten by Federico Gatti’s second-half strike in Turin, Sporting are without a win from their last four home games in Europe. Meanwhile, Juve may have suffered successive Serie A defeats but have won each of their last four in continental competition – all without conceding a goal.
Following their unsuccessful trip to Italy last week – when Juventus stole a 1-0 win through the unlikeliest of goalscorers in the 73rd minute – Sporting have now failed to win on any of their 16 visits to Serie A sides, losing on 12 occasions.
Having just gone unbeaten through 11 games in all competitions, Ruben Amorim‘s side were dealt an increasingly rare setback, as their form has improved markedly over the past two months – Premier League leaders Arsenal and Denmark’s Midtjylland being among their recent victims.
Sitting fourth in the Primeira Liga standings – while bitter foes Benfica streak clear at the top – does not match the Portuguese champions’ ambition, though, and they remain outsiders to achieve Champions League qualification through the league after a disappointing home draw with Arouca on Sunday.
Hero of the win over Arsenal in London, Pedro Goncalves turned villain when missing a first-half penalty, and Sporting also struck the woodwork twice as they trailed heading into the final minutes; but late on, ‘Pote’ then redeemed himself by striking from the spot to salvage a point.
Winless in three previous meetings with Juventus in UEFA competition, O Leoes have also been eliminated from each of their last five European knockout ties when they have lost the first leg, so history is certainly not on their side ahead of this week’s second leg.
Not only that, but since beating Tottenham in Lisbon last September they have failed to win any of their home fixtures in Europe. Sporting will certainly need to halt that run on Thursday, as going five straight continental contests at Alvalade without victory for the first time would bring elimination
Team news and Injury
After Ruben Amorim made several changes at the weekend, when Goncalo Inacio and Hidemasa Morita were among those dropped to the bench, a more familiar XI will start on Thursday.
While much-admired winger Marcus Edwards missed out with an illness and Jeremiah St. Juste was unavailable due to injury, both will aim to be involved in the second leg.
Manuel Ugarte was among those promoted to the lineup against Arouca, but Morita impressed last week in Turin when covering the Uruguayan’s absence through suspension and could win the nod in central midfield.
Sporting remain without first-choice forward Paulinho, plus Daniel Braganca and Jovane Cabral, and if St. Juste cannot recover in time, Ousmane Diomande would most likely start instead.
Juventus number one Wojciech Szczesny was withdrawn due to feeling chest pain during the first leg and regular cup keeper Mattia Perin stepped into the breach both then and in the subsequent defeat to Sassuolo – it remains to be seen if the latter will be called upon again.
At the back, ex-Porto defender Alex Sandro returns after serving a Serie A suspension, but Federico Gatti is set to keep the faith of Max Allegri. Having recently recovered from their latest injury setbacks, both Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa are available for selection too.
Angel Di Maria should return to take his place in the Bianconeri’s front line – between 2007 and 2010, Di Maria played for Sporting’s arch-rivals Benfica, where he was a teammate of Ruben Amorim.
Sporting vs Juventus Head to head stats
Juventus have a good record against Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Champions League and have won two of the three matches played between the two teams, with the other game ending in a draw.
Sporting Lisbon are winless in their three games against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League and last beat an Italian opponent in European competitions over 12 years ago.
Juventus have lost their last two games away from home against Portuguese opponents in European competitions and suffered an away defeat against Benfica earlier this season.
Sporting Lisbon have been knocked out in each of the last five knockout ties where they conceded a first-leg lead and last overturned such a deficit in the 2009-10 campaign.
Juventus have won each of their last four matches in Europe without conceding a single goal – their best record in this regard since March 2013.
Sporting vs Juventus prediciton
With the accumulated know-how of Allegri and his expensively-assembled cast of underachievers, Juventus can frustrate a Sporting side which has not replicated last term’s title-winning form and are a little more vulnerable these days.
As a draw would take them through to the final four, Juve will happily play the part of spoilers and focus their efforts on striking on the break – or via a set-piece situation.