Sporting CP vs Astana
UEFA Europa League
Date: Thursday, 22 February 2018
Kick-Off at 18:00 UK
Venue: Estadio Jose Alvalade (Lisbon).
Astana are the first Kazakh’s club to reach the knockout stage of any European competition. They’ got off to a dream start when Croat Marin Tomasov broke the deadlock in the first leg of their tie with Sporting CP, but the Portuguese giants have proven the gulf in quality later on netting three goals to practically book their spot in the last 16 round of the competition.
It was an expected scenario given the massive difference in quality and the fact that the Lions have played very well in this term of Champions League causing troubles to both the likes of Juventus and Barcelona in the group stages. Moreover, Astana are in obvious lack of competitive football since their domestic league has seen the last round played back in mid-November last year. Stanimir Stoilov’s men have managed to defend the title and they will have the chance to play the Champions League football next term.
Jorge Jesus’ men have had some unexpected slip-ups in the most recent outings in Primeira Liga which is why they are currently five points behind Porto at the top of the standings in the domestic campaign. Nonetheless, Sporting CP have been impeccable in the most recent set of fixtures at Estadio Jose Alvalade where they’ve won six on the bounce in Primeira LIga keeping a clean sheet in all of the matches during the process.
Sporting CP vs Astana: Head-to-head
The match played at Astana Arena was the first ever head to head clash between these two rivals.
Astana did face the opposition from Portugal back in the 2015/16 campaign when they drew 2-2 at home with Benfica before losing 2-0 away in the reverse fixture in Lisbon.
Sporting CP vs Astana: Prediction
Given that the Lions have been super tough to break down lately in front of the home crowd, we do have reasons to believe they can keep things tight at the back against the Kazakh’s side here.
The hosts should be in control from the very first whistle and we’ll back them to have the lead at the half time and win the match at the end at the odds of 1.83.