Sporting Lisbon will be bidding to get back on track after a poor run of domestic results on Thursday. They will have home advantage for the first leg of their playoff round against Midtjylland, with the Danish side looking to cause a shock result in Portugal.
Europa League Preview
It has been a damaging return to domestic action for Sporting Lisbon since the World Cup, as the Portuguese side have already dropped to fourth in the top-flight standings and lost in the Taca da Liga final. However, their attention turns back to European competition this week, as they compete in their playoff first leg against Midtjylland.
Sporting looked to be heading through to the knockout round in the Champions League at the half way stage, but three defeats in their final four games saw them hand over the advantage in the top two spots. They still won two from six games in the group stage, and boasted the joint-best attacking record. Sporting’s home record could be key for this fixture, as they have lost just four of their 35 home matches in the Europa League.
Midtjylland has a very poor away record in European competitions, as they are winless in seven games away from home. In fact, seven of their last eight wins in Europe have been recorded at home. The Danish side were involved in one of the closest Europa League groups, as all four sides in Group F finished level on eight points.
However, the Danish side progressed due to their superior goal difference. Midtjylland won two of the games that they played in the group stage, and second the second highest number of goals. Meanwhile, they also boasted the best defensive record in Group F.
Sporting Lisbon vs Midtjylland Head to Head
This will be the third meeting between the sides in European competition. The previous meeting came in the 2001-02 season, with Sporting progressing past the first round of the UEFA Cup with a 6-2 win on aggregate. In this exact fixture, Sporting ran out 3-2 winners.
Sporting Lisbon vs Midtjylland Prediction
This should be an entertaining fixture based on the attacking records of both sides in European competition this season. However, Sporting’s dominance at home could be the key factor, and that could be enough to see the Portuguese side claim victory.
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