Juventus vs Sporting CP Prediction, Preview, Lineups, H2H & Betting Tips
Juventus vs Sporting CP prediction for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League Group D fixture in Turin. Juventus will be keen to bounce back after a weekend setback when they host Sporting Lisbon in round three of the Champions League group stage. Read on what our betting experts have to say about this clash in a detailed match preview, prediction and free betting tips.
H2H History: Juventus vs Sporting CP
Sporting CP have won their only previous meeting with Juventus, however it was a friendly match in Toronto, Canada, six years ago.
Meanwhile, Italian champions have 13 encounters against Portuguese sides which have ended with 7 wins, 2 draws and 4 defeats. All four losses came against Sporting’s Lisbon rival – Benfica. Juve’s home record is 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. The most recent experience was only a few months ago when Juve eliminated FC Porto by winning twice in last season’s Round of 16.
On the other hand Sporting can’t be particularly pleased from their visits to Italy – just three draws out of 13 games in overall. Last one of them was before six years when they lost 2:0 to Lazio in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.
UEFA Champions League: Juventus vs Sporting CP 18.10.2017
“The Old Lady” reached last season’s final in Cardiff but Massimiliano Allegri remained with the bitter taste of losing that massive game for the second time, after losing to Barcelona in 2015. Now Massimiliano Allegri’s men must show composure and defend their reputation of Italy’s finest, although the new 2016-17 season is not going quite well thus far. Indeed, Juventus started the new campaign losing the Italian Super Cup game vs Lazio, which has been followed by a few positive Serie A results, until another disappointment in opening Champions League game vs Barcelona – 3:0 at the “Camp Nou”. During next couple of weeks Bianconeri have shown some domestic superiority while winning against Sassuolo, Fiorentina and city rivals Torino, thereafter claiming their first Group D points – 2:0 at home vs Olympiakos Piraeus.
The aforementioned victory over Greek champions remains last one of Juve and October has seen them decline even more. First of all their winning Serie A streak has been ended right before the international break – a 2:2 draw vs Atalanta in Bergamo. Two weeks later, last Saturday virtually, Juventus finally lost a home match after more than two years and Lazio were those who took their scalp, thanks to a quick second-half brace scored by Ciro Immobile. Furthermore, Paulo Dybala missed to earn at least a point for Juve when Lazio’s goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha saved his stoppage time penalty. Thus the Bianconeri have to defend their Champions League perspectives while occupying the fourth Serie A position, being on five points behind leaders Napoli.
After finishing third in the 2016/17 Portuguese Liga Sporting have made it to the Champions League groups for the third time in last four editions. Their coach Jorge Jesus surely keeps some positive memories when facing Juventus as he was the one who led Benfica in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League semi-finals, when the Portuguese club stopped “The Old Lady” from reaching the final at its own stadium. A few years later Jorge Jesus leads the other Lisbon giant who is in a sleeping mode for 15 years, but their current domestic league positioning is giving hope that Sporting can fight for the trophy.
“The Lions” are currently second in the Primeira Liga standings and on just two points from leaders Porto, but having three more from reigning champion Benfica. Jorge Jesus and his players can head to Turin with positive vibes after a Cup win vs Oleiros (2:4), which is a third-division club, but the most important is that Sporting have ended their winless run of four games in all competitions. Of course, experienced Portuguese coach used such a game to rotate the squad and an upcoming journey to Turin will be their first serious test after a goalless draw at home in derby against Porto before the break.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
We won’t be surprised if Allegri rotates some players and Juve looks a bit refreshed on Wednesday night. Considering injuries of summer signings Benedikt Höwedes and Mattia De Sciglio, as well as fact that Stephan Lichtsteiner wasn’t submitted in Juve’s Champions League squad list, Stefano Stutaro looks favourite to start as a right-back here. The 23-year-old centre-back Daniele Rugani can also return in the starting lineup next to veteran Giorgio Chiellini, after remaining on the bench in the last four competitive fixtures. He may replace another veteran in Andrea Barzagli’s face.
In the meantime, latest reports suggest that Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic has recovered from an injury and is expected to return against Sporting. He can feature alongside Blaise Matuidi in midfield, while Juan Cuadrado can get a chance to start as well. Otherwise no surprises are expected and Max Allegri should start with an attacking quartet – Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic, Higuain. Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi can be options later in the game, while Claudio Marchisio is close to return as he hasn’t featured since August.
Sporting CP is with a role of an underdog and they can only win from that game, if Jorge Jesus finds a right approach to stop a sore and furious home team. We already saw what to expect from Sporting in a similar match when last round they suffered a minimum (0:1) defeat to Barcelona in Lisbon, but failed to produce any threats up front. In fact, that’s been their story in the last few weeks, in which they have failed to score in three of their five matches and in all games against an opponent that can be rated as a serious one or even higher.
Former Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao, Alan Ruiz and Seydou Doumbia are all doubts for Sporting and if Jonathan Silva is ready to replace Coentrao at the left-back, Bas Dost can claim his first Champions League group stage start as Doumbia’s replacement.
Juventus vs Sporting CP Prediction and Betting Tips
Considering the Bianconeri have kept a clean sheet in five of their six home matches in current season, and in eight of their last 11 Champions League nights in front of the home crowd, then Sporting’s scoring chances are not that big. Especially if we also consider their attacking impotency in the past month.
Anyway, we do not expect a thrashing though since Sporting CP managed to limit Barcelona to a single goal and be sure, you expect the same mentality in Turin. Moreover, Juventus were winners of a low-scoring affair (Under 2.5 Goals) in five of their last seven Champions League home matches. They will be keen to win the game and we perfectly know “The Old Lady” is pleased to put the whole set of points in her bag, and the final score is not so significant. That’s why our betting prediction goes on “Juventus To Win and Under 3.5 Goals” – for extra insurance we pick a higher goal line, while odds are decent yet.
Possible Lineups of Juventus and Sporting CP
Venue: “Allianz Stadium”, Turin.
Referee: Michael Oliver from England.
Juventus: Gianluigi Buffon – Stefano Sturaro, Daniele Rugani, Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Sandro – Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi – Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic – Gonzalo Higuain. (4-2-3-1)
Sporting CP: Rui Patrício – Cristiano Piccini, Sebastian Coates, Jeremy Mathieu, Jonathan Silva – William Carvalho, Rodrigo Battaglia – Gelson Martins, Bruno Fernandes, Marcos Acuna – Bas Dost. (4-2-3-1)