Juventus
    Juventus
      30.10.2017 10:25 - in: Champions League S

      Match Preview: Sporting CP vs Juventus

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      Juventus travel to Lisbon looking for a win that would secure passage to the Champions League Round of 16

      Juventus head to Portugal for the second time in the calendar year as they face Sporting CP on Tuesday night at the Estádio José Alvalade (20.45 CEST kick-off). Fresh off a 2-1 win over Sporting a little less than a fortnight ago, Massimiliano Allegri's side know that with a win in Lisbon, they'll secure passage through to the Champions League knockout round for the fourth year in a row.

      Here's what you need to know to get you caught up for Tuesday night's clash in the Portugese capitol: 

      LAST TIME

      In the first-ever competitive meeting between the clubs, Juventus were taken to the limit against Sporting CP at the Allianz Stadium on 18 October, but in the end ran out 2-1 winners. An own goal from Alex Sandro gave the Portugese visitors a first half lead, but a beautiful free kick from Miralem Pjanic brought things level before half-time. 

      In the second half, Sporting proved to be a valiant foe, with Juventus finally finding the breakthrough on 84 minutes. Just seconds after coming into the match Douglas Costa sent a perfect cross finding the head of Mario Mandzukic for the go-ahead goal securing a crucial 2-1 win for the Bianconeri.

      ON THE LINE

      As we reach the second half of the UEFA Champions League group stage, the matches just get bigger and bigger. This one amounts to a do-or-die for the Lisbon club. 

      If Juventus can secure a win coupled with Barcelona earning a draw or win away to Olympiakos, both the Bianconeri and Blaugrana will already secure passage through from group D to the knockout round with only first and second place seeding left to play for. 

      Sporting can stay alive in the group with a draw while a win for the Portugese would leave Juventus with still plenty to do over the final two group stage matches. 

      JUVE FLYING HIGH

      The Bianconeri head to Lisbon on the back of perhaps their most complete performance of the young season. Juventus ran out 2-0 winners at the San Siro on Saturday night with a Gonzalo Higuain double sealing a big three points away from home in what was also crucially the first clean sheet in six matches. 

      Juve have won their last four matches in all competitions outscoring opponents 14-4 while finishing a stretch of three Serie A matches in seven days with all nine points in wins over Udinese, SPAL and Milan. 

      Allegri's side currently sit three points behind Napoli at the top of the table in Serie A with a 9-1-1 record in the league. 

      SPORTING GOING STRONG

      While the Portugese side have not quite kept the pace in group D, Sporting CP have enjoyed a strong start to the Liga NOS season sitting just two points behind Porto at the top of the table with an unbeaten 8-2-0 record. 

      Dutch forward Bas Dost leads the way with eight goals in the league this season while summer signing Bruno Fernandes from Sampdoria has added five. 

      #SCPJUVE FACTS

      - Sporting's record at home to Italian sides stands at 4-7-2

      - Sporting are unbeaten in their last four games at home to Serie A visitors (2-2-0)

      - Juventus's 14 encounters with Portuguese sides have ended W8 D2 L4; away it is W2 D1 L3. All four of those defeats came against SL Benfica. 

      - Alex Sandro played in Portugal for Porto between 2011 and 2015; his record against Sporting was W4 D3 L1.

      - The UEFA Champions League defeats by Barcelona and Juventus are Sporting's only losses in 17 games this season.

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