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Sporting vs Juventus – Analysis, Prediction, Team News

Thursday 20th April 2023
20:00 GMT
Estadio Jose Alvalade

As part of our Europa League Predictions, we take a look at the second leg of the quarter final tie between Sporting and Juventus. Allegri’s men have a 1-0 lead to take to Portugal against the run of play – can they do enough to qualify? Read on with our Sporting vs Juventus prediction.

Sporting (EL and CL)


1-0 (A)


1-1 (A) (pens)


2-2 (H)


4-0 (A)


1-1 (H)



1-0 (H)


2-0 (A)


1-0 (H)


3-0 (A)


1-1 (H)

Sporting vs Juventus Match Preview

Sporting come into the second leg in complicated form. Indeed, the Lisbon club have only won one of their previous four games, with two draws in the league and last week’s defeat in Turin being disappointing results for Ruben Amorim’s men. It took a late Goncalves penalty to equalise the game at home against Arouca at the weekend, which has left Sporting further adrift in the Primeira Liga. They sit in fourth place, seven points from Braga and 13 points from eternal rivals Benfica in first (only the top three enter the Champions League). They’ve only lost five times at home all season in all competitions but have only won three of the last seven there.

Juventus travel west across Europe with mixed results themselves. Indeed, they have lost the last two in Serie A – defeats to Lazio and Sassuolo. However, they had won three consecutively in the league before that. Their season was derailed by their 15-point deduction for financial breaches, which sees them on 44 points rather than the 59 they would otherwise have. Hence, they have little chance of qualifying for the Champions League through Serie A, as they are nine points adrift of Milan in fourth. They’ve only won nine times away this season, but they did win their two Europa League away ties – against Nantes and Freiburg.

The first leg was a good encounter and was Juventus’s only win in the last four. Sporting dominated Juventus for large spells of the game (we will allude to the stats in the next section). However, the Turin side were able to weather the storm and get a priceless win courtesy of a goal from centre-back Gatti. Coach Max Allegri will be pleased with the result, if not the performance.

The match was also notable for Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny being substituted after feeling shortness of breath and palpations in his chest. Thankfully, he seems fine, but Mattia Perin will likely replace him in the starting lineup for this game. After Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen’s fortunate survival from a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 and other high-profile incidents, we are happy Szczesny is safe.

This second leg could be a fascinating matchup, as Sporting have to go for it.

Team News

Injuries and Suspensions


Might Not Play: St. Juste, Edwards

Will Not Play: Cabral, Braganca, Paulinho


Might Not Play: De Sciglio, Kean

Will Not Play: Jorge

Sporting vs Juventus Lineups (Predicted)

Sporting CP (3-4-3 / 3-4-2-1): Adan; Inacio, Coates, Diomande; Santos, Goncalves, Ugarte, Bellerin; Trincao, Chermiti, Edwards

Juventus (3-5-1-1 / 3-5-2): Perin; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Kostic, Rabiot, Paredes, Fagioli, Cuadrado; Di Maria; Vlahovic

Sporting vs Juventus Lineup
Juventus vs Sporting Lineup

Sporting vs Juventus Analysis

Sporting Are Behind In The Tie, And The Onus Is On Them To Take The Game To Juventus

Sporting are good at retaining possession and have averaged 63 per cent in the Primeira Liga this season. They also had 56 per cent of the ball, 17 shots, and 1.89 to 0.83 xG in Turin last week. Therefore – as they are behind in the tie – the game’s flow will likely be one where Sporting take the game to their visitors and try to break down the Old Lady. Sporting must be progressive and use every ounce of their technical ability and invention to open up Juventus.

In midfield, Ugarte is back from his suspension last week – he offers bite, energy, and an ability to pass the ball. His defensive nous and progression of the play alongside that of the three centre-backs and Adan (St. Juste might be injured) might give Sporting the impetus and security to use their wing-backs’ athletic and attacking ability and number 10s/wingers’ genius to create the goals they need to qualify for the semi-finals. We mentioned Goncalves last week; he is a tricky, technical and buzzy midfielder-cum number 10. Goncalves’s creativity and ingenuity must be fully displayed here for Sporting to win the game.

Indeed, Goncalves, Edwards and Trincao are the three wild cards in this team. They must link well and be clever enough to get into dangerous positions in the Juventus defensive third. By doing this, they can find opportunities to shoot or deliver crosses for Chermiti to attack. Paulinho is still injured, so the centre-forward must try to hold the ball up, join in the link play, and take any chances that come his way. Generally, Sporting must be positive and attempt to put Juventus under pressure.

Juventus Can Afford To Be Patient And Counter With The Aggregate Lead

With Sporting likely to hit Juventus with everything they’ve got and attack strongly from the start, this could go one of two ways for Juventus. The Italian club could be overwhelmed and concede quickly. Alternatively, they might repel Sporting, grow into the game, and start hitting Sporting with cutting, quick, incisive transitions when they can win the ball in defensive areas. Juventus have a lead to protect and tend to be competent defensively. They also know that winning the Europa League is their only avenue into the Champions League next season. Hence, they will be prepared and motivated.

We expect Juventus to line up in their 3-5-1-1 / 3-5-2 system – this will allow them to have maximum protection with Gatti, Bremer and Danilo at centre-back and Paredes, Rabiot and Fagioli playing a disciplined role in midfield. The centre-backs can play out from the back, and this midfield three is crucial – Paredes can patrol while Rabiot and Fagioli sometimes advance to help the flying wing-backs and front two.

Rabiot and Fagioli are good at retaining the ball and evading the press Sporting will likely employ. If they can do this, they can find the wing-backs in threatening areas or get forward as Sporting’s unit is weakened. Kostic and Cuadrado are powerful running weapons at wing-back and will deliver ample crosses for Vlahovic to attack – the Serbian has had a torrid time recently, but we think Allegri will pick him. Di Maria’s ability to find those positions to get on the half-turn to dribble, shoot, or set up Vlahovic will be vital, as always. The Argentinean is a real maverick, and his curling left-foot shots could trouble Adan. Midfielder Locatelli and forwards Chiesa, Milik or Kean (if the latter is fit) are possible alternatives.

Our Prediction

We are unsure how this game will go. On the one hand, Juventus have the better and the ‘bigger name’ players. However, player quality is not everything; they generally play a more pragmatic style of football which is not conducive to scoring many goals (47 in 30 Serie A matches is not an astonishing amount). On the other hand, Sporting under Amorim are a creative and inventive side that like to attack teams using their pace, energy, dribbling and probing passing. They have scored 57 in 28 in Portugal, remembering that Primeira Liga is a weaker league than Serie A.

There is also the added wrinkle that this match is massive for Juventus. The 15-point penalty destroyed their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League through their league campaign. Hence, it is all or nothing for them here. It will be a challenging game for them, and Sporting will attack them hard. Sporting, too, are unlikely to qualify for next season’s premier European tournament if they don’t win the Europa League – this tie’s victors can keep this dream alive.

Sporting have been unremarkable at home recently, and Juventus have only won away from home nine times all season. The tactical setup doesn’t favour Sporting. Hence, predicting a draw and Juventus just about progressing to the semi-finals seems sensible.

Sporting 1-1 Juventus

Sporting vs Juventus Betting Tip – Draw Odds:


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