Sporting Lisbon continue their European campaign this week when they square off against Young Boys in the first leg of their playoff tie in the Europa League. It should be an exciting clash between the two sides, but which team will take a first leg advantage?
Europa League Preview
Sporting Lisbon will be confident of making a bold bid for glory in the Europa League this season, but they will need to improve their performances based on their showings in the group stage. The Portuguese side was forced to settle for second spot in Group D after winning just three of their six matches, but they ranked among the highest scorers in the opening round after netting ten times.
Young Boys have dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in Champions League Group G. The Swiss side won once in their six matches, but they were beaten on four occasions as they finished a far distance behind RB Leipzig in the standings. However, this is a much calmer opponent than they came up against before Christmas.
Sporting boast a very impressive record against Swiss sides in Europe after winning of their last 16. Over that period, they have suffered just four defeats. Interestingly, Sporting have recorded eight previous wins against Swiss rivals without having conceded.
But, the home record of Young Boys in the Europa League shouldn’t be overlooked coming into this showdown. Only nine teams that have played more than 12 games in the competition can boast a better win rate in home matches than the Swiss side since the Europa League rebrand in 2009.
Young Boys vs Sporting Head to Head
This will be the first time that Young Boys and Sporting Lisbon have clashed in a competitive fixture. However, the Swiss side have a poor record against teams from Portugal, having failed to win in their last four. Over that period, they have played out two draws against Braga, before losing both matches against FC Porto in the Europa League group stage in 2019-20.
Young Boys vs Sporting Prediction
Sporting boast the better quality across the field, and they should be a safe bet to progress through to the next round of the competition. However, the Young Boys home record deserves respect in this first leg, meaning that the preference is for the draw.
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