The race for a place in the next round of the Europa League continues on Thursday, as the second legs in the playoff round take place. One of the most interesting ties will take place in Denmark, as Midtjylland looks to make home advantage count against Sporting Lisbon.
Europa League Preview
There is still so much left to play for ahead of the second leg in the playoff round between Midtjylland and Sporting Lisbon. The Danish side may have considered themselves extremely unlucky after the first game, as their game plan looked to work out to perfection. They took the lead after 77 minutes through Emam Ashour, and that looked to have given them the perfect advantage ahead of the return game.
However, Sporting equalised in dramatic fashion with almost the last play of the game, as Sebastian Coates levelled the scores in the 94th minute. It was certainly a missed opportunity for the hosts, as they failed to create too much in the way of scoring opportunities. Despite having 72% of the possession, Sporting managed just two shots on target, which was the same number of Midtjylland.
The Danes will have home advantage for the second leg this week, and they will be hoping that could be critical for their chances of progression. Midtjylland will likely need to play more on the front foot than they did last Thursday, but the success that they achieved with the counter-attack style could mean a repeat setup may be likely.
However, they will be hoping for better fortunes at this stage of the competition, as they have been eliminated in six of their previous seven knockout stage matches in European competition. Their only progression came in the 2002-03 UEFA Cup, as they managed to edge past NK Varazdin.
Midtjylland vs Sporting Lisbon Head to Head
Sporting is unbeaten in their previous three matches against Midtjylland. Two of their wins have come in the UEFA Cup, with both victories coming in the 2001-02 season. However, Midtjylland would have taken confidence from the draw between the sides last week.
Midtjylland vs Sporting Lisbon Prediction
The home advantage could be key for Midtjylland on Thursday. However, we still find it hard to bet against Sporting Lisbon. They were slightly disappointing in the final third last week, and we expect a much better display this week. Therefore, we fancy the visiting side to win the game and both teams to score.
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