Sporting and Villarreal will face this Thursday, from 20:00, in the Estádio José Alvalade, for the first leg of the Europa League 16-a-side final, in a match between two of the most experienced participants in this competition. Sporting went on to win second place in Group E, behind Arsenal with 13 points, a record for a second-place finisher and even six group winners. These included Villarreal, who qualified with ten points and without defeats in the competitive group G, in which it was their fifth qualification in five consecutive seasons for the phase to be eliminated. Ahead of this match, the lions won in the stronghold of Feirense by 1-3, while the Spanish formation equalized in the stronghold of Valladolid to zero, registering its tenth consecutive game without winning. The last triumph was curiously for the Europa League, on 13 December, against the Russians of Spartak Moscow, by two balls to zero. In Lisbon, the Lions only lost twice in the Europa League with a total home record of 22 wins, eight draws and two defeats, but they face a Villarreal who has been undefeated for 11 games away in the group stage of this competition. Who will lead the best?
Sporting vs Villarreal
In four of Sporting’s last five games at his home stadium there were over 2.5 goals.
Sporting was the best attack of Group E, with 13 goals scored.
In three of Villarreal’s last five games as a visitor there were over 2.5 goals.
Villarreal are struggling badly coming into this first leg of the Europa League R32 tie against Sporting Lisbon.
The Yellow Submarine are winless in consecutive outings across competitions and they sit second from bottom in domestic league standings with just 20 points from 23 games. It was a really turbulent campaign so far in the season for Villarreal who saw multiple managerial changes throughout. The team is currently led by Javi Calleja who returned just recently, but is still making an impact.
Can Thursday’s Europa League affair against Portuguese heavyweights Sporting Lisbon turn to corner for La Liga strugglers?
The visitors desperately need confidence-boost injection. They failed to find the back of the net on Friday when they only drew 0-0 away at Real Valladolid.
The Yellow Submarine thus scored only one goal in last four away fixtures in all competitions. They are winless in last 13 games away from Estadio de la Ceramica.
Sporting vs Villarreal: Head-to-head
This will be the first official head to head affair between these two likes.
They met each other in a pre-season friendly in late-July 2016 when neither team managed to find the back of the net.
Football Prediction of the Day Sporting vs Villarreal
Sporting, not being one of the most consistent teams in Portugal, is one of those who play a football more offensive and without major defensive concerns. And he faces a Villarreal who, despite his bad moment, is always a very dull team and with very fast players.
Bet Tips: more 2.5
Sporting Lisbon cruised their way to the second place in Europa League Group E this term. They only dropped points against Arsenal, beating both Vorskla and Qarabag twice along the way. The Lions were very tough to break down allowing just three goals in six group matches.
Since Villarreal was struggling for creativity in the final third in this term of First, especially on travels, we have to find the value with the 3.00 odds offered for Marcel Keizer’s men to keep a clean sheet here.
Furthermore, Sporting have an impressive record of 9 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat in 11 Primera Liga games at Estadio Jose Alvalade. The 2.25 odds offered for the home win are also well worth backing under these circumstances.
Prediction Today: Sporting