Reigning Premier League Champions will meet Sporting CP at the José Alvalade Stadium in the Round of 16. Keep on scrolling for information on both sides to help you place the right bets!
Manchester City the team to beat in Europe?
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City enter the clash with Sporting CP as the stand out team in Europe and the most likely winners of this season’s Champions League.
Manchester City are currently the outright favourite to taste their first Champions league success, available at odds of 3.60. Considering their recent form and the ease in which they’ve won games this season, this could be a potential wager for those who think Manchester City will keep up their brilliant form. The current Premier League champions have won their last three outings, scoring 10 and conceding just one in the process. Out of their past ten fixtures, Man City have dropped just the 2 points which came in a 1-1 draw away at Southampton, winning the remaining 9 fixtures.
The form ranks seriously high and looks like a serious task for Sporting CP to cope with this Manchester City side.
The stats say Sporting must not allow Manchester City to start well and score first, with the English champions going on to win 19 out of the 24 games in which they’ve scored first.
Sporting’s defence will be given the tough task of keeping Manchester City’s formidable attack quiet, averaging 3 goals a game in the Champions League group stages and 2.54 per game in all competitions.
Manchester City will be without their right back Kyle Walker after an incident in the group stages against RB Leipzig, Walker will miss both of the ties against Sporting CP. Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus also looks doubtful to return for the clash.
Sporting CP capable of a cup upset?
Sporting enter the Round of 16 in good form themselves, winning 4 out of their last 5 and coming off the back of recent success in the Taça da Liga, beating rivals Benfica 2-1 in the final to claim their 4th Taça da Liga tite. Sporting CP’s last game came against Portuguese league leaders, Porto. An action-packed game consisting of 5 red cards and 2 goals a piece.
Following the fixture with fellow Portuguese giants Porto, Sporting still remain comfortable in second, six points off the leaders. Sporting scraped through a tough group, taking nine points out of a possible 18. The Portuguese side finished level on points with Borussia Dortmund, but just edged above with their superior goal difference.
The Portuguese side will be hoping to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in the club’s history. Sporting have reached the Champions League Round of 16 once before, crashing out to German champions Bayern Munich, after a heavy 12-1 aggregate defeat.
Only one player from Rúben Amorim’s side looks set to miss the tie, with midfielder Pedro Goncalves looking likely to miss out through injury.
There’s no doubt Sporting are facing a demanding challenge in overturning this Manchester City side. Looking at the side’s goal statistics it’s clear to see Sporting will need to tighten up their defence. Sporting conceded an average of two per game in the group stages and face an opponent who scored an average of three per game. It’s vital that Sporting CP remain disciplined to give themselves half a chance.
Head to Head
The sides have only met on two occasions, both fixtures taking place in the 2012 Europa league. The sides were matched evenly, both winning and losing one game. The last game, which took place exactly one week after the first resulted in a 3-2 win for Manchester City, with an unsurprising brace from Argentinian Sergio Aguero securing the win.
It may be better to look elsewhere for value unless you fancy Sporting CP to cause an upset! If you’re keen to look elsewhere and trust the stats, backing Manchester City -1.5 at odds of 1.88 or to score over 1 goal in the first half at odds of 2.07 could be great options!
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