Astana vs Sporting Lisbon
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Date: 15 February 2018
Kick-off: 17:00 CET
The season in Kazakhstan ended back in early November. Astana won the championship but still had two Europa League group matches to play, two matches in almost five weeks, training and waiting for those two… isolated encounters with Villarreal and Slavia Prague. They lost 3-2 to the Spanish side at home, but right when they seemed doomed, they rose to the occasion beating Slavia in Czechia, 1-0. The new season in Kazakhstan starts the first weekend of March (Super Cup), so these last two months Astana have only played friendly games, unlike Sporting Lisbon whose championship in Portugal is in full swing. Bottom line, Astana should look… well-rested, but at the same time, without rhythm. At least theoretically. It remains to be verified on the pitch.
As previously mentioned, all this time that Astana were in pre-season, training and playing friendly matches, Sporting had been playing regularly in Portugal’s championship and both domestic Cups. Just last Sunday they beat Feirense 2-0 at home, not so easily as the score suggests though, as the game was still at 0-0 by the 78th minute. Sporting are third in Portugal’s championship, level on points with second-placed Benfica, and two points behind leaders Porto. A week ago they lost 1-0 to Porto away from home, in the first leg of a Taça de Portugal semifinal tie. They have the return leg at home in April. All in all, they should look way more match-fit than Astana, even though the fatigue could play a role. They did play on Sunday, and the trip to Astana from Portugal is one of the longest any team in Europe can make to face an opponent in a UEFA competition.
Previous five matches:
Häcken vs Astana 2-0
Astana vs Žilina 0-1
Slavia Praha vs Astana 0-1
Astana vs Villarreal 2-3
Astana vs Akzhayik 2-0
Sporting vs Feirense 2-0
Porto vs Sporting 1-0
Estoril vs Sporting 2-0
Sporting vs Vitória Guimarães 1-0
Vitória Setúbal vs Sporting 1-1
Astana’s next game is the return leg against Sporting, next Thursday. Sporting are visiting Tondela on Monday (Portugal championship).
Astana vs Sporting Lisbon: Head to head Stats
Astana have never faced Sporting before.
Astana vs Sporting Lisbon: Prediction
Astana had spectacular ups and downs in their group stage matches, having periods in some games in which they looked awesome, and then again, periods in which they seemed like a team that shouldn’t even be in the group stage. All things considered though, I expect them to avoid defeat.
Astana vs Sporting Lisbon: Betting Tips
Astana’s double chance is at 1.70 betting odds, and I like it mostly because Sporting have the return leg at home, and I don’t expect them to go… all out to win this game.
More UEFA Europa League betting tips and match previews:
- Red Star Belgrade vs CSKA Moscow
- Borussia Dortmund vs Atalanta
- Nice vs Lokomotiv Moscow
- Spartak Moscow vs Athletic Bilbao
- Real Sociedad vs Salzburg
- Ludogorets vs AC Milan
- Ostersunds vs Arsenal
- Marseille vs Braga
- FC Copenhagen vs Atletico Madrid
- AEK Athens vs Dynamo Kyiv
- Celtic vs Zenit
- Napoli vs RB Leipzig
- Lyon vs Villarreal
- Partizan Belgrade vs Viktoria Plzen
- FCSB vs Lazio