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Sporting Lisbon
Europa League | Knockout Round Playoffs | 1st Leg
Feb 16, 2023 at 8pm UK

Sporting Lisbon
1 - 1

Coates (90+4')
Coates (88'), Tanlongo (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Ashour (77')
Martinez (63'), Isaksen (83'), Gigovic (86')

Preview: Sporting Lisbon vs. FC Midtjylland - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Sporting Lisbon and FC Midtjylland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sporting Lisbon and FC Midtjylland go head to head at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in the first leg of their Europa League knockout-stage clash on Thursday.

Ruben Amorim's side, who are currently 15 off the top of the Primeira Liga standings, will be looking to return to winning ways and kick off their hunt for continental glory on a high.

Match preview

Sporting Lisbon's Paulinho celebrates scoring their first goal with Jeremiah St. Juste and Sebastian Coates on January 24, 2023© Reuters

Sporting Lisbon failed to get the better of league rivals Porto for the eighth consecutive attempt as they fell to a 2-1 defeat when the sides squared off last Sunday.

Following a relatively uneventful first half, the game sparked to life on the hour mark when Mateus Uribe opened the scoring and after Pepe put the result beyond doubt, youngster Youssef Chermiti grabbed a 97th-minute consolation.

Prior to that, Sporting Lisbon were on a run of three consecutive victories in the Primeira Liga, where they are currently fourth in the standings, 15 points adrift of first-placed Benfica.

The 19-time Portuguese champions spent the first half of the season competing in the Champions League, where they flattered to deceive before falling to the Europa League.

Amorim's side kicked off their campaign with successive wins over Frankfurt and Tottenham, but a run of one point from their final four matches saw them finish third in Group D.

Sporting Lisbon now continue their hunt for continental glory in the Europa League, where they will be looking to surpass their 2019-20 run, when they reached the last 16 before suffering a 5-4 aggregate loss against Istanbul Basaksehir.

Midtjylland's Charles celebrates with Erik Sviatchenko after the match on February 17, 2022© Reuters

Midtjylland, on the other hand, wrapped up their 2023 Atlantic Cup campaign last Friday when they edged out Elfsborg on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

In a cagey affair at the Estadio Municipal de Albufeira, Per Frick and Frederik Heiselberg scored for either side to take the game to penalties, where the Ulvene picked up a 4-3 victory.

Prior to that, Midtjylland snapped their four-game winless run on February 6 when they secured a 1-0 victory over South Korean outfit Ulsan Hyundai courtesy of a 51st-minute strike from Anderlecht loanee Kristoffer Olsson.

However, Albert Capellas's side have struggled to get going in the Danish top flight, where they are currently winless in four consecutive matches, picking up three draws and losing once since October's 2-1 win over Horsens.

Midtjylland now turn their sights to the Europa League, where they picked up eight points from six matches to finish second in Group F on head to head after all four sides finished level on points.

Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions):

FC Midtjylland Europa League form:

FC Midtjylland form (all competitions):

Team News

Sporting Lisbon's Francisco Trincao celebrates scoring their first goal on January 15, 2023© Reuters

Experienced defender Sebastian Coates returned to the XI against Porto and the 32-year-old defender should team up with Goncalo Inacio and Matheus Reis for the second consecutive game.

Uribe and Pepe should pair at the centre of the park, with Nuno Santos and Hector Bellerin taking up the wing back roles.

Chermiti has caught the eye with his string of impressive performances and the 18-year-old, who has registered three goal involvements in his last three games, should lead the attack alongside Marcus Edwards and Francisco Trincao.

On the injury front, Amorim will be unable to call upon Portuguese midfielder Daniel Braganca, who has been sidelined since last May through a cruciate ligament rupture.

Meanwhile, Midtjylland will take to the pitch without the services of 31-year-old Erik Sviatchenko, who will serve his European suspension after crossing the yellow card threshold with his booking against Sturm Graz on November 3.

In the absence of the experienced centre-back, Brazilian defender Juninho will come into the starting side, forming the back four with Paulinho, Stefan Gartenmann and 26-year-old Joel Andersson.

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Inacio, Coates, Reis; Bellerin, Goncalves, Ugarte, Santos; Edwards, Trincao, Chermiti

FC Midtjylland possible starting lineup:
Lossl; Andersson, Gartenmann, Juninho, Paulinho; Olsson, Martinez, Sorensen; Isaksen, Beetson, Chilufya

SM words green background

We say: Sporting Lisbon 3-1 FC Midtjylland

While Midtjylland will be looking to maintain their recent run, they go up against a Sporting Lisbon side who have won seven of their last nine home matches. Amorim's side boast the firepower needed to get the job done and we are backing them to come away with a comfortable victory.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim on January 15, 2023
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