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Juventus and Sporting jockeying for position

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 at 10:21 am , filed under Champions League, News by

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A first meeting between Juventus and Sporting Clube de Portugal gives both the opportunity to step up the chase to keep pace with Group D leaders FC Barcelona.

• The teams each have three points, having won one and lost the other of their first two fixtures, and trail Barça by three. The omens are against Sporting, however, who have never won in Italy.

Match background

A 2-0 victory against Olympiacos FC last time out stretched the Bianconeri’s unbeaten home run in UEFA competition to 24 games (W15 D9), dating back to a 2-0 reverse against FC Bayern München in April 2013.

• Juventus’s 12 encounters with Portuguese sides have ended W6 D2 L4; at home their record is W3 D1 L1. All four of those defeats came against SL Benfica.

• The Bianconeri’s sole home loss to a Portuguese Liga club came in their first encounter, Benfica triumphing 1-0 in Turin in a 1967/68 European Champion Clubs’ Cup semi-final second leg (3-0 aggregate).

• Juventus got the better of Portuguese opposition in last season’s round of 16, beating FC Porto 3-0 over two legs (2-0 away, 1-0 home).

• Juventus lost last season’s final 4-1 to Real Madrid CF in Cardiff. They were also beaten 3-0 by FC Barcelona on matchday one, the first time since the 2014/15 group stage they had lost successive European matches; by overcoming Olympiacos they avoided suffering three defeats in a row in Europe for the first time since 1993/94.

• This is an 18th UEFA Champions League group stage campaign for Juve, and a sixth in succession.

• The Italian outfit have reached the knockout rounds in their last three attempts, having finished third in their section in 2013/14.

• Sporting have not played an Italian club for six years since two contests against SS Lazio in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage (2-1 home, 0-2 away).

• That loss in Rome means Sporting’s record away to Italian clubs now reads W0 D3 L10. Overall it is W5 D10 L12.

• Beaten 1-0 at home by Barcelona in their most recent fixture, Sporting were 3-2 winners at Olympiacos on matchday one, just their third victory in their last 24 European away fixtures (D5 L16). It was also their first away win in this competition proper since a 1-0 success at FC Basel 1893 on 9 December 2008; their subsequent record was D1 L6, with a five-game losing run before the Olympiacos triumph including all three away games in last season’s group stage.

• The Portuguese team were 5-1 aggregate winners against Romania’s FCSB in the play-offs, following up a 0-0 home draw with a 5-1 success in Bucharest. That win in Romania ended Sporting’s four-game losing streak in European away matches.

• Sporting are in the group stage for a third time in four years. In 2016/17, they came fourth in their group behind Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid CF and Legia Warszawa.

• Sporting qualified by finishing third in the Portuguese Liga in 2016/17.

Coach and player links
• Jorge Jesus guided Benfica to victory against Juve in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League semi-finals (2-1 home, 0-0 away).

• Jesus’s only other match against Italian opposition was a 1-0 away defeat by AC Milan in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage when he was coaching SC Braga.

• Jérémy Mathieu was in the Barcelona side beaten 3-0 at Juventus in last season’s quarter-final first leg. He had come on as a substitute in Barça’s 3-1 victory in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final.

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

• Rui Patrício and William Carvalho were in the Portugal team that upset Blaise Matuidi’s France 1-0 in the UEFA EURO 2016 final.

• Rui Patrício and William Carvalho also got the better of Marko Pjaca and Mario Mandžukić in Portugal’s 1-0 last-16 scalp of Croatia. Wojciech Szczęsny was an unused substitute as Portugal edged out Poland on penalties in the quarter-finals.

• Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Claudio Marchisio all featured as Italy beat Sebastiano Coates’s Uruguay in a friendly on 7 June.

• Stephan Lichtsteiner was in the Switzerland side that beat Portugal 2-0 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on 6 September 2016; Rui Patrício and Carvalho played for the visitors.

• Benedikt Höwedes scored in FC Schalke 04’s 4-3 home win against Sporting in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage, and also appeared in the 4-2 defeat in Lisbon.

• Have played in Italy:
Cristiano Piccini (ACF Fiorentina 2010/11, Carrarese Calcio 2011/12, Spezia Calcio 2012/13, AS Livorno Calcio 2013/14)
Seydou Doumbia (AS Roma 2014/15)
Bruno Fernandes (Novara 2012/13, Udinese Calcio 2013–16, UC Sampdoria 2016/17)
Stefan Ristovski (Parma FC 2010–15, FC Crotone 2011/12, Frosinone Calcio 2012, AS Bari 2012/13, US Latina Calcio 2013/14, 2015)

• Have played together:
Miralem Pjanić & Seydou Doumbia (Roma 2014/15)
Fábio Coentrão & Sami Khedira (Real Madrid 2011–15) Gonzalo Higuaín (2011–13)
Jonathan Silva & Rodrigo Bentancur (CA Boca Juniors 2016/17)
Douglas Costa & Bruno César (Grêmio FBPA 2008)

• International team-mates:
Jérémy Mathieu & Blaise Matuidi (France)
Paulo Dybala & Gonzalo Higuaín, Marcos Acuña (Argentina)


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