Sporting Lisbon v Manchester City: more joy for City in Portugal
Manchester City face Portuguese opposition for the second round in succession and their 6-1 aggregate win over Porto suggests they’ll dispose of Sporting Lisbon with similar ease – Roberto Mancini’s men are 4/5 to triumph in the first leg.
Sporting Lisbon sit fourth in Portugal’s top flight, all of 12 points behind leaders Porto, who meekly surrendered at Eastlands, having trailed 2-1 from the home leg.
Though Sporting boast an impressive home record, which sees them unbeaten at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in 12 games, Porto had not tasted defeat at home for almost a year prior to City’s arrival.
But the Portugese outfit also have a 100 per cent home record in this season’s Europa League to protect, and they are 4/1 to put City to the sword.
But if City are to win, it seems unlikely to be a goal fest. Sporting have not conceded in their last seven home matches in all competitions and their last three have each contained just a solitary goal. Under 2.5 goals is worth 8/11.
City meanwhile are in formidable form, having won each of their last six in league and cup, keeping five clean sheets in the process. The visitors are 2/1 to win to nil.
Though a draw away from home would of course be no disaster, Manchester City tend not to deal in stalemates, having been held just once in 14 encounters. It’s 9/4 for the tie to be all square after 90 minutes.
As for the tie as a whole, Sporting lost to British opposition in this competition last season, falling to an away goals defeat at the hands of Rangers in the last 32.
They are 7/2 to book their place in the last eight, while City are as short as 1/6 to progress.
In the goal scorer stakes, Sergio Aguero is inevitably the man to watch, having scored in both legs of City’s previous European tie.
The Argentinian striker has scored in four of his last five starts and is 4/1 to score the opener in Portugal.