The return match of the RO 16 match of the Champions League Manchester City against Sporting will take place at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, March 9. Manchester City thrashed Sporting Lisbon in the last match with a runaway first-half performance at the José Alvalade Stadium, becoming the first team in the competition’s history to have a four-goal lead midway through the Champions League play-offs. Manchester City thrashed Sporting CP 5-0 away in the first leg in their biggest ever UEFA Champions League away win.
Sporting has not been helped by the all-out route they got from Manchester City in the first leg, and it’s hard to see what manager Ruben Amorim can do here in terms of a turnaround. As for Sporting is trying to get a decent result in this second leg after losing the first game. Sporting Club de Portugal won in their last league match against Arouca (2-0) at the José Alvalade Stadium.
If the away side wants to win this match, the away side must score three goals before the 30th minute and maintain tight control of the defence until the end of the first half to wear down Manchester City and gain an advantage in the second half. Sporting Lisbon failed to accommodate City’s speed and movement, and the free-kick continued as a weak defence allowed Phil Foden to fire a cross from Riyad Mahrez. Bernardo Silva, one of four City players who previously played for Sporting’s main rivals Benfica, doubled Manchester City’s lead with a stunning volley that hit the net from below the crossbar on a corner kick. Bernardo Silva scored his second goal when Sporting Lisbon left him undetected to cross past beleaguered goalkeeper Antonio Adana with a dribble after sacking Kevin De Bruyne.
City will be looking to take control of the game and hold on to the Etihad in the second leg, so adding an extra midfielder and rotating the top five could give Guardiola a chance – along with Phil Foden. Not smooth Manchester City has plenty of attacking talent, and their second team should also be strong enough to beat Sporting again on Wednesday. Manchester City’s squad is so deep that even two world-class players like Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling were unused when they beat Manchester United, their local rivals, in their previous home game. That depth should be too much for Sporting. Manchester City leads the Premier League, 6 points more than Liverpool, with one game remaining in second place, while Chelsea, third in the standings, seems to be too far away from the title race.
Sporting Lisbon’s defence will likely consist of Matheus Reis, Sebastian Coates, Goncalo Inacio, and Ruben Vinagre, who will support António Adán in Sporting Lisbon’s goal. Behind them, the midfield is also chosen, especially if Sporting is widely spaced, as expected. City is going all-in to win the UCL this season after a heartbreaking end last season when they lost to Chelsea in the UCL Finals.