Sporting Lisbon

V

Estádio José Alvalade

08/03/2018 | 8:05 pm

Viktoria Plzeň

V

Estádio José Alvalade

08/03/2018 | 8:05 pm

In a sentence: The bookies’ outsiders for the Europa League travel to Portugal to take on Sporting.

Last time: These sides have never previously met, and each has only faced a team from their opponent’s country once before.

This time: Sporting Lisbon are 4/9 to win with Viktoria Plzen at 89/10 and the draw 15/4.

You might remember: Plzen defeating Portugal’s Académica in the Europa League group stage in 2012.

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Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

Sporting Lisbon’s Estádio José Alvalade will host the first leg of this Europa League knockout tie

These sides are just five places apart in the UEFA rankings, but even so, Sporting are red hot favourites to win this match, and they are currently eighth in the betting to win the tournament outright.

Sporting Lisbon are 4/9 to win, and are unbeaten at home in Liga NOS in 2017/18. They have won 11 of their 13 matches for good measure, and also only lost one of their three home games in the Champions League group stage.

Viktoria Plzen can be backed at 89/10, but it would be a surprise if they had a lead to take back to the Czech Republic. They may have won all five of their European matches at home in 2017/18, but they have only been victorious on the road once.

The draw is available at 15/4. Plzen got a draw away at Partizan Belgrade in the last round before winning at home to get through, so they will no doubt look to do similar here. Sporting drew at home in the last 32, so perhaps a stalemate isn’t that unlikely.

Fredy Montero is 4/1 to score the first goal, or 7/5 to net at some point. The Colombian hasn’t played too often this season, but with Sporting’s injury issues there’s every chance he leads the line against Plzen. He scored 14 goals in the MLS last year, so clearly knows where the goal is if given a chance.

Michal Krmencik is available at 13/5 to score, or 17/2 to give Plzen a shock lead with the opening goal. He is comfortably their top scorer both at home and abroad, with 11 goals in the Gambrinus League and four in the Europa League.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

A red card. There have been a total of five red cards issued in Sporting’s last five matches, and Milan Mitrovic was sent off for Partizan Belgrade against Plzen in the previous round.

2

We fancy:

Sporting to win and both teams to score, at 3/1. The Portuguese side should be far too strong for Plzen, but they have yet to keep a clean sheet in the Champions League proper or Europa League in 2017/18.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

Plzen to win 1-0, at 19/1. With Sporting beset by injuries up front they may struggle for goals, and Plzen have scored in their last three European away matches so may be able to nick a goal and claim a famous win.

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Written by Andrew Beasley

Andrew Beasley is a self-confessed stats nerd who tries to use facts and figures to his advantage when it comes to betting. Andrew is also a musician and a Liverpool fan who loves Mohamed Salah more by the game.