Pre-match previews

Sporting CP vs Legia Warsaw match preview

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Sporting Lisbon almost conjured up the shock result of gameweek 1, as they took the fight to an unprepared and unsuspecting Real Madrid side from the very first minute, at the Bernabeu, and got the reward for their dominance just after the restart in the second half; Bruno Cesar scoring to give the Portuguese a deserved lead. Real Madrid only came back into the game around the 80 minute mark, when Alvaro Morata was brought on to freshen up the attack.

It took a brilliant free kick from Cristiano Ronaldo to bring the sides level, almost near the end of the game, and Alvaro Morata added another, deep into stoppage time, to seal the comeback.

In the other game of the group, Legia Warsaw were demolished 6-0 by a Borussia Dortmund side that never needed to get of second gear. The Polish Champions had already let in three by the time a quarter of an hour had passed, and three more were added in the second half to seal a result that was never in doubt.

Sporting will now host Legia in the second round of matches, with hopes of disrupting the top 2.

Team News*:

Sporting CP:

The Portuguese giants have enjoyed a typically strong start to their domestic campaign, and currently sit in 2nd place with five wins out of six. Bas Dost, signed this summer from Wolfsburg, has hit the ground running, with four goals in three games, and the big Dutchman will be hoping he can put an injury hit 2015-16 season behind him and get a few goals under his belt. The 27 year old was the most efficient striker in Europe in the 2014-15 season with Wolfsburg, where he scored 18 goals from just 54(!) shots.

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Manager Jorge Jesus will also be hoping William Carvalho has put his injuries behind him, and can enjoy a full season with the club. The 24 year old was one of the most coveted defensive midfielders around last year, before a stress fracture in his tibia ruled him out for three months, and ruled out any potential transfers.

Prior to kickoff at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Sporting will be monitoring the fitness of left back Marvin Zeegelaar, who has missed the last couple of games with a muscle injury. Lukas Spalvis is out indefinitely with a cruciate ligament injury.

Expected lineup:
Rui Patricio;
Joao Pereira, Sebastián Coates, Ruben Semedo, Jefferson;
Gelson Martins, Adrien Silva, William Carvalho, Bruno Cesar;
Bryan Ruiz, Bas Dost.

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Legia Warsaw:

The 11-time Polish champions have sacked Besnik Hasi after just three months on the job, after a miserable start to the new Ekstraklasa season has seen them slip to 14th in the league, after only two wins, and four losses from the opening 10 games.

The 6 – 0 drubbing at the hands of Borussia Dortmund was just one of the many poor results under the old managerial regime, and assistant manager Jacek Magiera has been handed the responsibility to bring the current Polish champions back into contention for the champions round places.

The new man in-charge will have Michal Pazdan and Thibault Moulin missing through injury.

Predicted lineup:
Arkadiusz Malarz;
Bartosz Bereszynski, Maciej Dabrowski, Jakub Czerwinski, Adam Hlousek;
Tomasz Jodlowiec, Vadis Odjidja Ofoe, Guilherme;
Steeven Langil, Nemanja Nikolic, Aleksandar Prijovic.

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*Team news as at time of writing.

Predictions:

The home advantage coupled with Legia’s instability as a club should mean an easy win for the home side.

Sporting 3 – 0 Legia Warsaw.

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