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Sporting Lisbon vs Villarreal Predictions

  • 20:00
  • Expired
  • Estadio Jose Alvalade
Sporting Lisbon

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Tip Reasoning

Sporting took second spot in their Europa League group at a canter, finishing ten points above the bottom two clubs and three behind Premier League side Arsenal. Villarreal have really struggled in La Liga this season and remain in a relegation battle, but their form in Europe has been a lot better, to the point that they won their Europa League group on goal difference ahead of Rapid Vienna, Rangers, and Spartak Moscow.

Sporting won 3-1 in the Primeira Liga against relegation battlers Feirense after another impressive performance from midfielder Bruno Fernandes who scored two of the goals, but remain seven points behind third placed Braga. Villarreal haven’t won any of their last ten games in all competitions and currently sit second from bottom in La Liga, drawing at the weekend 0-0 with Real Valladolid. The Europa League will provide the perfect distraction for both clubs this week, but each teams domestic form suggests they won’t go too much further in the competition.

We’re expecting an open, end to end game on Thursday, especially as both teams defences have struggled to keep clean sheets of late. Both teams have scored in each of Sporting’s last seven matches, while the same can be said about four of Villarreal’s last six matches. The visitors are the only side of the two to have kept a single clean sheet in their last twelve matches combined. Sporting’s last three matches have produced over 2.5 goals, while four of Villarreal’s last six matches have also seen at least three goals scored. Sporting scored thirteen goals in the group stage and Villarreal were only one behind their hosts with twelve from their six games. All of the above suggests we will see goals at both ends of the pitch and that there will be at least three goals scored during the ninety minutes.

Jovane Cabral, Bruno Fernandes, Abdoulay Diaby, and Freddy Montero have all scored two goals each in Europe for Sporting this season, while Toko Ekambi leads the way in front of goal for Villarreal with three strikes in the Europa League and teammates Pablo Fornals and Gerard Moreno have chipped in with two goals apiece. We’re confident that both teams will score and over 2.5 goals will be produced in Thursday’s 1st leg, with the game ending in a 2-2 draw. Villarreal haven’t been winning games of late, but three of their last four games have ended in stalemate, while Sporting’s form has dipped since they claimed the Taca da Liga against Porto last month.

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