Sporting ended a 19 year wait to lift the Portuguese title last season but after a 2-2 draw with Porto on Friday night, their chances of retaining the trophy look slim. Dragoes now possess a six point gap over second-placed Leoes, who will now switch their focus to the Champions League.
Lisbon won three and lost three of their group stage matches, but thanks in no small part to a 3-1 home win over Borussia Dortmund, Ruben Amorim’s men secured second place over the German giants. Now however, they face a huge challenge from the current Champions League favourites…
Manchester City make the trip to the Portuguese capital with the treble still very much in their sights. The Citizens are into Round Four of the FA Cup and sit nine points clear of Liverpool in the Premier League but make no mistake, the Champions League will be the priority for Pep Guardiola and his side this term.
After extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to twelve games with a thumping 0-4 win over Norwich City at the weekend, City appear to be playing with a real swagger at the moment. Can they continue their relentless pursuit of silverware with another win here?
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Sporting vs Man City: Match Stats
Manchester City, through sheer dominance of possession and shot stats, do tend to win a lot of corners in their matches. Pep Guardiola’s men have taken a minimum of nine corners in each of their last six outings in all competitions and they won 12 in their weekend victory over Norwich City.
Riyad Mahrez has led the way on the goalscoring front for Manchester City in the Champions League so far this season, scoring five times in six appearances and he also has three goals in his last three domestic appearances for the Citizens since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.
“In typical City fashion they’ve had over 50% possession in each game and, besides their matchday one win over Leipzig where they attempted 468, the Citizens have bagged at least 500 passes in every game, and you can expect that to continue in Lisbon.”
08 Mar 2012 – Sporting 1-0 Manchester City – Europa League
15 Mar 2012 – Manchester City 3-2 Sporting – Europa League
These two teams have never met in the Champions League before, although Sporting did progress past the Citizens in the Round of 16 in the Europa League back in 2011/2012. The tie finished 3-3 on aggregate, with the Portuguese side progressing through on away goals.