Real Madrid is all set to travel to Portugal for their mid-week Champions League clash against Sporting Lisbon and this away fixture holds special sentimental value for their star striker Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese, who started his career as a professional footballer at the Portuguese club scored five goals in 31 appearances during his stint in Sporting before being roped in by Sir Alex Ferguson to play for Manchester United which proved to be the biggest breakthrough in his career.
Sporting Lisbon coach Jorge Jesus has told Marca that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo “was born to score goals” ahead of the teams’ Champions League clash on Tuesday. Ronaldo scored against Sporting in Real’s dramatic late 2-1 win at the Bernabeu on Sept. 14 after trailing by a goal for the majority of the match and now, returning to the stadium which proved to be the onset of perhaps one of the best footballers in the history of the game, is an emotional situation for the 31-year-old.
Sporting has a huge mountain to climb against Real Madrid to keep their hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds alive. They are currently in the third position with three points from four matches. Their chances of going to the next round as group winners will be boosted if Dortmund is to lose their match against Legia Warszawa.
Madrid, on the other hand, have as good as qualified for the round of 16 sitting on top of Group F and need only a point from their Group F game against Sporting to progress to the last 16. Los Blancos come into this fixture on the back of an immensely satisfying three-goal away victory over city rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
Real Madrid and Sporting have locked horns in UEFA competitions on five occasions, and the Spanish giants lead the head-to-head with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. However, Madrid hasn’t won in their previous two away games against Sporting, they lost 1 and drew 1.
Real Madrid Vs Sporting Lisbon : Team News
Despite being on top of both the Champions League Group stage table as well as the La Liga table, Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane has a lot to worry about as a lot of key players in his squad are out with injuries. The likes of Toni Kroos and Casemiro are out with long term injuries while Alvaro Morata, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Pepe have also been unavailable to choose from during their last fixture against Atletico. Nevertheless, Madrid’s strong bench has proved to be effective on these occasions with players like Mateo Kovacic, Nacho and Raphael Varane have filled in for their more experienced team mates. Latest news which have surfaced speaks of the fact that club captain Sergio Ramos is available in full fitness to face Sporting in Portugal while Zidane will also have fellow Frenchman Karim Benzema at his disposal to field in the front three alongside Bale and Ronaldo.
And yielded results too. Also, Spanish midfielder Isco Alcaron who seemed to be in electric form against Atletico will definitely feature in the game in Portugal according to statements from Los Blancos’s French manager.
Jorge Jesus’s side isn’t troubled with injuries going towards this match. So, there are enough options of player for the home side to choose from. Attacker Andre scored twice off the bench in the 5-1 home win against the third-tier SC Praiense in the Portuguese Cup fourth-round last weekend. So, he may lead the attack against the travelling side. Marvin Zeegelaar will have to be cautious as he is just a booking away from suspension. Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio and defensive midfielder William Carvalho who were a part of the Euro 2016 winning Portugal side are also slated to make an appearance against the mighty Los Blancos and National team mate Cristiano Roanldo.
Real Madrid vs Sporting Lisbon : Predicted Starting Line-up
Real Madrid (4-3-3)
Keylor Navas- Carvajal, Nacho, Raphael Varane, Marcelo- Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Isco- Vasquez, Ronaldo, Bale
Sporting Lisbon (4-4-2)
Beto- Douglas, Jefferson, Oliviera, Esgasio-Silva, Elias, Cesar, Ruiz- Castaignos, Andre
Real Madrid vs. Sporting Lisbon: Match Details
Match Timings: Tuesday, 22 November(08:45 PM CET) (Wednesday, November 23 01:15 AM IST)
Match Venue: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal
Match Referee: William Collum
Real Madrid vs Sporting Lisbon: TV Guide
The Champions League Group F fixture between Sporting Lisbon and Real Madrid in Portugal will be telecasted on TEN 1 HD (Indian viewers); Fox Soccer 2GO USA, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports 2 USA, Fox Sports GO (USA viewers); BT Sport Live Streaming, BT Sport ESPN (UK viewers).
Real Madrid vs. Sporting Lisbon: Match Prediction
Considering the fact that the Madrid’s home victory was not a very easy one for Zidane’s side, Sporting will not easily give away three points at their home ground. Although, one fact that has to be kept in mind that Real are in definite high spirits after their victory at the Vicente Calderon last weekend and will go into the game searching for nothing short of full points. We are predicting a 2-0 away victory for Los Blancos with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring at least one goal against his childhood club. The Portuguese can become the first player to score 100 goals in European competition with him already having 98 goals out of which 95 have come in the Champions League. And what better place for him to complete this milestone than his childhood home ground.