Sporting vs Qarabag
UEFA Europa League
Date: Thursday, 20 September 2018
Kick-Off at 20:00 UK / 21:00 CET
Venue: Estadio Jose Alvalade (Lisbon).
Sporting begin their Europa League journey on Thursday evening when they host Azerbaijani Qarabag at Estadio Jose Alvalade. The hosts enter the competition aiming to try and match last term success when they were narrowly beaten by Spanish giants Atletico Madrid 2-1 on aggregate in the quarter-final.
They should be battling Arsenal for the top spot in the Group E this time around. Will the Lions justify the favourites tag ere against Qarabag?
The visitors disappointed their fans with a third round loss in Champions League qualifications to Belarusian BATE. They, however, fixed the impression storming past Moldovan Sheriff 3-1 on aggregate to earn a place in the Europa League group stage. The Horsemen were particularly impressive in the reverse fixture of that play-offs tie beating Sherrif 3-0 at home in late-August.
Sporting vs Qarabag: Head-to-head
This will be the first head to head outing between the two teams.
Sporting vs Qarabag: Prediction
Qarabag picked up a narrow 1-0 victory over Sumqayit in the third round of the new Premyer Liqa campaign. They sit third with seven points from three games so far. Atletico Madrid fans can still certainly remember this side which held them to draws both home and away in the Champions League group last term.
Sporting entered the new season with limited ambitions after losing the likes of Gelson Martins and Wiliam Carvalho this summer. Nevertheless, the club looks to be going in a completely new (much more positive way) compared to the one they had last season. The team somehow managed to keep main stars, including top scorer Bas Dost, and they are ready to challenge the Primeira Liga title once again.
The hosts started the domestic league very well, winning ten points from four games. They saw off Maritimo 3-1 on Sunday with a brace from Bruno Fernandes and a goal from this summer acquisition Raphinha.
The visitors will likely park the bus and we don’t see them threating Sporting’s goal too much here. It gives a nice value to the 1.80 odds offered for the hosts to keep a clean sheet on the evening.
Sporting vs Qarabag: Bet Tips
• Sporting to keep a clean sheet @ 1.80 (4/5)
• Sporting -1.5 handicap @ 2.05 (21/20).