Sporting vs Steaua Bucharest
2017/18 UEFA Champions League Play-off
Date: Tuesday, 15th August 2017
Kick-off at 19:45 UK/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Estadio Jose Alvalade (Lisbon).
Sporting CP enters the Champions League qualifiers for the first time this season. They will face the Romanian giants Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday night.
The Portuguese outfit, Sporting CP have failed to make through the qualifiers in their previous two attempts. Two seasons ago, they were beaten by CSKA Moscow despite earning a 2-1 win in the first leg. The Russians overturned the deficit with a 3-1 win in their backyard. Meanwhile, in 2009/10, they lost on away goal rule to Serie A giants Fiorentina. Can Sporting be third time lucky?
Anyways, Sporting will be coming here in good spirits after winning back to back games in the new Portuguese Primera Division season. They defeated the newly promoted Aves 2-0 on matchday and Setubal 1-0 on the weekend.
FC Steaua Bucharest
Steaua Bucharest started their quest for Champions League football by a thrilling win against Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen. After the home leg ended in a 2-2 draw, Steaua were expected to be blown out in the return leg. But they surprised everyone with a 4-1 away win. Definitely something that adds confidence to the players in taking on a team of Sporting’s stature.
On the other hand, FCSB has been underwhelming in their domestic league with a mediocre 3 wins and 3 draws from 6 matches so far.
Sporting vs Steaua Bucharest: Head-to-head
The teams are meeting for the first time in a UEFA Competition.
Sporting’s record against Romanian teams is 3 wins and 3 losses from 6 matches. This can be further split into 3 home wins and 3 away defeats.
FCSB managed just 1 win from their six previous meetings with Portuguese clubs. They drew 1 and lost 2 of their 3 trips to Portugal so far. The team is unbeaten at home with 1 win and 2 draws.
Sporting vs Steaua Bucharest: Prediction
Steaua are huge underdogs here, which is further consolidated by the fact that Sporting are in excellent touch. Especially, the Portuguese team are rock solid in defense. Expect the crazy outing at Plzen, the Romanians struggled for goals this season. One wouldn’t wonder if Sporting win this with a clean sheet.