Sporting are still hoping to reach the knockout stages of Champions League. They are currently third in Group D, three points behind Juventus. At the same time, the Portuguese are three points ahead of their opponents today.
Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:
Sporting CP welcome Greek side Olympiakos to the Estádio José Alvalade for this Champions League (CL) Group D round 5 tie. This group looks to be the so called “group of death” as both of these sides were always up against the odds with Barcelona and Juventus being drawn in the same group.
The hosts have a slight glimmer of hope of qualification if Juventus lose at home and they can capitalise with a victory – this would set up a very tight final gameday in which Sporting must win in order to qualify. However, the Europa League looks like a more likely destination, even though we all know that stranger things have happened in football!
The reverse fixture in Piraeus, Greece, turned out to be a very tasty encounter. A 5-goal thriller in which Sporting came away with the win (3-2). That game was not quite as close as the scoreline suggests, as the Portuguese outfit were already 3 goals to the good by the break, with Felipe Pardo managing to score 2 last-gasp goals for Olympiakos in stoppage time.
Reports coming from Greece described that last game as “one of the worst nights in Olympiakos’ history”. They were simply spectators to a strong Portuguese side who scored 3 goals, hit the woodwork 3 times, and missed 5 one on one opportunities – the red and whites will be looking for redemption tonight in a must-win encounter.Koulibaly warns about Genk danger Nedim Maric – The reliable Napoli defender, Kalidou Koulibaly warned his team about Genk’s quality as he’s played for the Belgian side in the past.Napoli opened their…
Sporting are much less prolific on home soil. They have scored 15 goals in their last 11 home games, in contrast to their record of 25 goals in their last 9 away games. Olympiakos have lost 4 of their last 6 away from home, conceding on average 2 goals per game in this time.
Olympiakos are yet to win in the competition thus far (D1, L3), but may take inspiration from their stalemate vs the mighty Barcelona. They now must come up with 2 massive performances to retain any hope of European glory this term.
In the prematch presser, Olympiakos coach Takis Lemonis spoke of the team’s determination to qualify for the Europa League and their approach to this game: “Victory is imperative for us, but it’s not imperative to field a hoard of strikers.”
Sporting: S. Coates (suspension), S. Doumbia (injury), J. Silva (knee injury)
Olympiakos Piraeus: E. Emenike (injury), E. Ben (doubtful), H. Milic (doubtful).