Eleven times European champions Real Madrid will travel to Portugal for their Champions League clash against Sporting CP this Tuesday.
The Portuguese side 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.
Defending champions Real Madrid, who trail leaders Borussia Dortmund by two points in Group F, will aim for nothing less than win on Tuesday night. Their chances of going to the next round as group winners will be boosted if Dortmund is to lose their match against Legia Warszawa.
Real Madrid ensured their stay at the top of the La Liga table as they thrashed their city rivals Atletico Madrid by 3-0 on Saturday night.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the three times Ballon d’Or winner, emerged as a hero scoring all three Madrid’s goals. The trip will be emotional for the Portuguese star when he faces his boyhood club.
The home side, Sporting CP, are also in good form on domestic competitions despite mediocre Champions League performances this season. They are third in the Portuguese league with 21 points.
Team News: Real Madrid
Troubles seem to surmount for manager Zinedine Zidane as injuries rule out the selection of key players.
Striker Karim Benzema, once again, will miss a game because he is still going treatment for Sacroiliitis.
Alvaro Morata also is sidelined due to a knock he picked on a 2-2 draw against England during the international break. Real’s attacking line will be blunt as these two strikers are the best options for Real to lead the attack.
Midfield star Casemiro’s absence from the team, once again, surely will imbalance Madrid’s midfield. Casemiro has been one of the key figures for Real Madrid’s success in recent seasons, and it will be tough for Zidane to replace a player of his caliber.
Star defender Sergio Ramos is also certain to miss the match due to a knee injury. Ramos, who has a habit of scoring the big goals in the Champions League, will be a huge miss for Los Blancos.
On being given a huge responsibility on Madrid’s midfield, Spanish midfielder Isco amazingly impressed everybody by making most of the opportunity against Atletico Madrid. He probably will start the match against Sporting CP.
High flying Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will be Zidane’s key player against the Portuguese side.
Real Madrid: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Navas- Carvajal, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo- Kovacic, Modric, Isco, Vasquez- Ronaldo, Bale
Team News: Sporting CP
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 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 traveling side.
Marvin Zeegelaar will have to be cautious as he is just a booking away from suspension.
Sporting CP: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Beto- Douglas, Jefferson, Oliviera, Esgasio-Silva, Elias, Cesar, Ruiz- Castaignos, Andre
Sporting vs Real Madrid: Head-to-Head
Total games: 10
Real Madrid wins: 7
Sporting CP wins: 1
Sporting vs Real Madrid: Prediction
Real Madrid has yet to lose a Champions League match this season, and they will try to preserve their unbeaten streak when they face the Sporting CP on Tuesday night. Sporting will try to revive their fading chances of progressing to the next rounds of Champion League.
The Portuguese side will try to utilize the home advantage in their favor and dismantle their opponents. From what it looks now, it is going to be a fully competitive match as both teams are vying for a win. However, Real Madrid looks slightly stronger than the away side and may emerge out victorious on this nerve-wracking tie.
Final Predicted Score. Sporting 0- 2 Real Madrid
Sporting CP vs. Real Madrid: Betting Tips and Odds
- Sporting CP Win: 9/2
- A draw: 10/3
- Real Madrid Win: 4/7
- Under 2.5 goals: 6/4
- Over 2.5 goals: 1/2
- Both teams score: 8/15
- Both teams fail to score: 11/8
The odds were provided by Paddypower.
Key Stats to consider
- Real Madrid is 29 games unbeaten in all competitive matches, dating back to their 2-0 loss at Wolfsburg in the first leg of last year’s Champions League.
- Zinedine Zidane’s men have only lost a match against Sporting CP in their altogether ten matches.
- Sporting CP has scored at least once in their last thirteen home games in all competition.
- The home side lost by 2-1 when they traveled to Santiago Bernebau this season.
[Featured Image by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images]