Sporting host Ajax for a Champions League group phase clash at Estádio José Alvalade on Wednesday evening (20:00 UK time).
This will be the second meeting between SCP and De Godenzonen in the Portuguese capital since a Uefa Cup first round meeting in September 1988 when The Lions ran out 4-2 winners.
How to live stream Sporting vs Ajax:
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Where to watch Sporting vs Ajax on TV:
- UK: BT Sport Extra
- US: Paramount+
Scoreline prediction: Sporting 2-2 Ajax
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Sporting vs Ajax build-up & previous line-ups:
There’s a new pep in Sporting’s step as they come into this Champions League season as Portugal’s champion, something they’ve not been able to say in nearly two decades. Rúben Amorim’s men can subsequently be considered as dark horses. The last time SCP dined at the high table of European football was in the 2017/18 season but they couldn’t escape Group D as they’d finish behind Barcelona and Juventus on seven points. Sporting come into their European Cup curtain raiser third in the Portuguese championship having won three of their opening five matches.
Another season and everyone associated with Ajax hope to recreate the magic from several years ago. During the 2018/19 campaign they sensationally reached the semi-final phase and came agonisingly close to ending a 23-year Champions League final appearance drought. The following two campaigns saw them finish third in their respective groups which featured Chelsea and Valencia in one year and Liverpool and Atalanta the next. Erik ten Hag’s side are unbeaten in their opening four Eredivisie outings, winning three of those matches, but due to PSV’s flawless start the Amsterdammers currently sit two points behind them.
- Sporting (vs Porto): Adán; Neto, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Nunes, Palhinha, Vinagre; Cabral, Paulinho, Santos.
- Ajax (vs PEC Zwolle): Pasveer; Mazraoui, Timber, Blind, Rensch; Gravenberch, Álvarez; Antony, Berghuis, Tadic; Haller.
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Uefa block Ajax’s tribute to Marley
In a season littered with brilliantly designed jerseys, top of the pile — or close to — is Ajax’s third shirt, which pays homage to music icon Bob Marley whom supporters have adopted his 1980 classic ‘Three Little Birds’ as their anthem. The song is regularly played at home games, notably as the players are coming out for the second half, but the Amsterdammers kit will need a redesign. The powers that be in Nyon have declared that Ajax cannot play with ‘three little birds’ on the back of their shirt. “UEFA sees it as an extra insignia next to the club crest, the adidas logo and the sleeve sponsor, which is not allowed.” Ajax reportedly asked “Are you sure you’re not joking” in response.
Rise up this mornin’, smile with the rising sun.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) August 20, 2021
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