Chelsea To Leave Sporting Blue In LisbonStats
Sporting Lisbon v Chelsea
Jose Mourinho goes back to his homeland when Chelsea travel to Portugal on Tuesday looking to earn their first Champions League win of the season against Sporting.
Despite an unbeaten start to their season, Sporting have won only twice in their seven games this season and lie fifth in the Portuguese top flight, six points adrift of leaders Benfica. They will be satisfied with the point they earned on Friday night though as they drew 1-1 with Porto, which has been the final score in all five of their drawn games this season, oddly enough. That was the case when they met Maribor in their opening Champions League match too after a last-minute goal by Luka Zahovic cancelled out Nani’s opener for the visitors.
Peruvian forward Andre Carrillo has scored three this term, leading the goalscoring stakes.
Chelsea, too are unbeaten this season, although their record is in stark contrast to their opponents on Tuesday with only two draws along with six wins from their eight games. They coasted past Aston Villa on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, never looking in any trouble during a routine 3-0 win thanks to goals from Oscar, Diego Costa and Willian. The Blues are three points ahead of Southampton at the top of the Premier League having dropped only two points to date and scoring 19 goal in the process.
Costa has proved a wonderful buy for Mourinho to date, leading the Premier League’s scorers charts with eight goals in his first six games.
Egyptian defender Rami Rabia is out for the hosts but boss Marco Silva has a full squad to select from otherwise, with on-loan Manchester United winger Nani set to start along with Carrillo and Fredy Montero in a three-pronged attack.
Ramires is Chelsea’s only absentee, with the Brazilian suffering from a groin problem which is likely to rule him out for another fortnight. Mourinho has stated he may rest his top scorer on account of Costa’s ongoing hamstring problems as the boss did for the draw with Schalke in their first European outing of the season, with Loic Remy likely to step in for the Spaniard.
Head to Head
Sporting have never faced Chelsea previously in a competitive game and have only once played an English side in the Champions League when they were twice beaten by Manchester United in the 2007/2008 group stages. They have enjoyed their clashes with English sides in the Europa league and UEFA Cup in the last decade though, eliminating Middlesbrough, Bolton, Everton, Newcastle and, most recently, Manchester City from Europe’s ‘second’ competition.
Chelsea have lost just one of their nine games against Portuguese opponents in the Champions League.
The Blues are big favourites to come away with a win at 7/10 and there is more pressure on them to do just that after they failed to win their group opener at home. They should still have few problems getting out of the group and were done a favour by Maribor’s late goal against Sporting, who are 4/1 for a shock win here.
A draw would be a reasonable result for both sides but is difficult to back with any confidence so I’d go with the goals market and Under 2.5 looks the pick for me at 5/6 with Eden Hazard’s pace on the break and set-piece duty making the Belgian a worthy punt as a goalscorer at 6/1 first and 15/8 anytime.