Manchester City v Sporting Lisbon Betting – Europa League – 15.03.12

Window of opportunity for Citizens despite deficit

Samir Nasri (Manchester City)

Manchester City v Sporting Lisbon Europa League betting preview has to start with a look at what happened on the weekend. A late winner from Swansea at the Liberty Stadium cost Manchester city top spot in the title race, and with a much tougher run in than rivals Manchester United, are City starting to the crumble. That defeat came on the back of disappointing display out in Portugal last week, where City were gunned down 1-0 by Sporting CP. The biggest disappointment of the night for boss Roberto Mancini is that his side could not grab an away goal, which could prove vital at the end of the day. But, in the last round, City thumped Portuguese side and defending champions FC Porto comfortably at the Etihad Stadium, so there is still a big window of opportunity for Manchester City if they get their big guns firing.

This is the first time that City and Sporting CP have ever been paired up together in UEFA competition, and in City’s only previous two home fixtures against Portuguese opposition, City have prevailed. So there could be a big silver lining floating around somewhere. There are extra good omens though for City, because the last time they knocked out Portuguese competition, which they have already done so, in Europe, they went on to win the Cup Winners’ Cup. Another big factor in the Manchester City v Sporting Lisbon Europa League betting for the second leg, is that City have not lost a home fixture in Europe for sixteen matches now, and thirteen of those have produced a win. That is just what City needs, a win. Their performance in Portugal was below par, they are better than what they showed, and are still being heavily fancied to progress.

Sporting CP were delighted with their first leg win, thanks to a goal from Xandao. The Portuguese side did have the better of the chances in the first leg, having six attempts on target compared to City’s 3. The Portuguese did put in a lot of hard work, and City did get some good possession. They just couldn’t create a lot with it on the night, but the atmosphere at home in the second leg really should help them prevail. There was nothing particularly special about Sporting CP and in many ways, FC Porto looked a better side than them. However, Sporting Lisbon were very industrious, it has to be said and they will know that they could be within a sniff of an away goal on the night, and that would make City’s task very difficult. But we all know how devastating the City attack can be, and after losing in the Premier League on the weekend, the Citizens may just take their frustrations out on the unsuspecting Portuguese. There is really no reason why, apart from a lack of confidence, that City cannot win this comfortably.

Manchester City v Sporting Lisbon Europa League betting Odds
Man City to win: 2/7 at Stan James
Draw: 5/1 at Bet365
Sporting Lisbon to win: 11/1 at Boylesports

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