Sporting are enjoying a great season and currently top the Portuguese top flight and have hopes of ending their 14 year wait for a domestic title. They have only lost 1 of their last 33 league games in a run stretching way back to last March and just made it through to the knock-out stages of this competition edging Besiktas out into 3rd place in their group.
Bayer Leverkusen meanwhile are dropping out of the Champions League where they finished 3rd in their group behind Barcelona and Roma. They are going pretty well again in the Bundesliga, currently occupying 3rd place behind Bayern and Dortmund and have made an unbeaten start to 2016 in the league.
This has the makings of a really good tie and we could see quite a few goals if these clubs’ European performances so far this season are anything to go by. Both teams scored in all 6 Champions League group games involving Leverkusen and they were a bit unfortunate to go out given they netted 13 times in their 6 matches.
Meanwhile both teams scored in 5 of Sporting’s 6 Europa League group games and their 3-0 defeat in Albania was largely shaped by a 17th minute sending off to Sporting’s Rui Patricio. Therefore goals certainly seem likely here and you can back both teams to score at 3/4.
This is a really tough tie to call overall with both sides looking pretty good but perhaps a little short on the quality required to go all the way in the competition.
Sporting have suffered only 1 defeat in 40 home games and might just edge it on the night with a 2-1 win, which you can back at 8/1 and that would leave the tie nicely poised ahead of next week’s return in Germany.
- 30 Jul