Preview - Sporting CP vs Atletico Madrid 13 April 2018

Started by Harry85, Apr 12, 2018, 03:02 AM

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Europa League Quarter Final Second Leg
Sporting CP vs. Atletico Madrid
Friday, April 13th, 2018
04:05 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Estádio José Alvalade

Sporting CP: 
Last five matches form: L W L L W
EL Average goals per match: 1.80
EL Average goals against per match: 1.60
EL Top Scorer: Bruno Fernandes (3)

Atletico Madrid:
Last five matches form: W L W W D
EL Average goals per match: 3.00
EL Average goals against per match: 0.40
EL Top Scorer: Antoine Griezmann and Saúl Ñíguez (3)

First Leg Score: Atletico Madrid 2 - 0 Sporting CP

This was no where near as comfortable as many expected for Atletico Madrid in the first leg, as Sporting put in an excellent display. Despite that though Atletico came out of the game with what many would view as just about the ideal first leg result. A nice two goal cushion ahead of the away leg and crucially not having conceded an away goal. Sporting CP must play this game knowing that should Atletico score, then they must score four times if they are to progress. That will prove easier said than done against one of the meanest defences in Europe.

Sporting's pursuit of goals has received a major blow here, with an accumulation of bookings seeing their prolific front man Bas Dost miss out here. Throw in the likely continued absence of midfield anchor William Carvalho and talented left back Fabio Coentrão and this begins to look like a tall order.

It may pay for Sporting to attack down the flanks here as Atletico look set to be without both first choice full backs in Filipe Luís and Sime Vrsaljko.

Atletico came unstuck in the Champions League, but an average of three goals for and just 0.4 goals against in this competition to date, suggests they are a cut above most teams at this level. They weren't at their best in the first game but still came out on top and a similar result looks to be on the cards.

Prediction: Sporting CP 0 - 2 Atletico Madrid


Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 1 - 0
Aggregate Score: 1 - 2
Shots: 17 - 9
Shots on target: 7 - 2
Corner Kicks: 10 - 2
Possession: 56% - 44%

Referee Milorad Mazic booked Stefan Ristovski, Fredy Montero, Bruno Fernandes and Rodrigo Andres Battaglia for Sporting. Atletico's Fernando Torres and Jan Oblak also seeing yellow.

A 2-0 win in the first leg looked like being enough to see Atletico make it through to the semi-finals, and in the end it was. But only just.

Both sides went close early, with crosses into the box proving the main source of chances. Best of the lot saw Jan Oblak produce a wonderful one-handed save to keep out a Sebastian Coates effort that seemed destined for the top corner.

Sporting dominated possession early and in the 28th minute one of their numerous dangerous balls into the box finally paid off. Bruno Fernandes ball from the right missing out everyone bar Fredy Montero at the far post who nodded back across goal and in.

The game became rather scrappy in the second half which really suited Atletico as they tried to stifle the game. They did look more of a threat themselves though with Fernando Torres brought on to try and stretch the Sporting defence.

For Sporting Fredy Montero had another good chance when teed up around the penalty spot but his effort towards the corner lacked sufficient power to trouble the keeper.

Then in the 83rd minute Antoine Griezmann seemed sure to put this tie to bed. Racing through on goal, he beat the keeper but put his effort the wrong side of the post.

Atletico are just about the kings of shutting up shop when they need to and Sporting were simply unable to find a way through in the second half. Atletico through to the semi-finals where they will meet Arsenal.

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