Midtjylland vs Sporting CP prediction for the second leg of the UEFA Europa League Final Sixteen on Thursday 23 February 2023 at the MCH Arena in Herning.
Midtjylland vs Sporting CP preview
A place in the knockout stages of the Europa League will be at stake when Midtjylland and Sporting CP meet at the MCH Arena on Thursday night. The Danes did not go beyond the draw against Sporting in Lisbon, but the Lions are still favorites to win this double duel. The good news for the hosts is that defender Erik Sviatchenko returns after serving his ban.
The Primeira Liga team, meanwhile, avoided defeat in the first leg thanks to Sebastian Coates’ late goal. However, Sporting is more of a team than Midtjylland, and considering that the Danes have not yet returned to action in the national championship, the away win should be taken into account.
Midfielder Daniel Braganca remains in the recovery room, while both Essugo and Morita are important doubts, speaking of the visiting team. Paulinho is expected to lead the visiting team’s attacking line.
Midtjylland got a very good result last week when they travelled to Sporting’s ground. Albert Capellas’ men opened the scoring in the 77th minute against, but had to settle for a very good draw after conceding a goal in the discount (1-1).
To qualify for the play-offs of this Europa League, they were 2nd in a very even group in which Feyenoord, Lazio and Sturm Graz were and in which the 4 teams finished with the same points.
On the national scene, Midtjylland is out of contention for the title (10 points behind the leader). The Danish team, fourth in the standings (out of 12 teams), resumed its league journey with a convincing victory at home to Viborg last Monday (0-4). Thus follows a bad series of 4 games without winning (3 draws and 1 loss).
The Midtjylland coach is still without League winger Pione Sisto (3 goals). In addition, the important defender Sviatchenko, sanctioned in the first leg, is doubtful this time. It is also the case of newcomer Selmani (striker, former Hapoel Beer Sheva).
The Egyptian midfielder, who joined the team this winter from Zamalek, scored Midtjylland’s only goal. The important winger Isaksen was also decisive in this Europa League (3 goals and 2 assists).
During the winter transfer period, midfielder Evander (Portland) left the club, as did defender Diomandé (Sporting) and important winger Dreyer (Anderlecht, 8 league goals). Instead, midfielders Martinez (Bragantino), Ashour (Zamalek) and Gigovic (Rostov), who played in the first leg, have arrived.
Sporting CP Form
Despite a clear dominance in the game, Sporting did not come close to the corrective in the first leg played in their stadium. In fact, the Lisbon team was very clumsy and had to wait until the 94th minute to get a well-deserved draw (1-1).
Initially drawn in Group D of the Champions League, they were relegated to the Europa League after finishing behind Tottenham and Frankfurt, but ahead of Marseille.
In the league, Sporting currently occupies a disappointing 4th place. Eight points behind third-placed Braga, Ruben Amorim’s men are in a bad position to qualify for the preliminary rounds of next season’s Champions League. After losing at home to Porto (1-2), they reacted last Monday winning in Chaves (2-3).
For Sporting, the long-absent Braganca is still absent due to injury. On the other hand, the important attacking midfielder Morita (5 goals) and the very promising Essugo (17-year-old midfielder) are very recovered from their physical problems.
In defense, captain Coates, author of the tying goal in the first leg, takes his place. The very influential midfielder Pedro Gonçalves (10 goals and 5 assists in the league) is also present, as is the English winger Edwards (6 goals and 4 assists).
Full-back Pedro Porro (Tottenham) left the club this summer, while defenders Diomandé (Midtjylland) and Bellerín (Barcelona) have arrived. Both were on the bench last week.
Head-to-head between Midtjylland vs Sporting CP
These two teams met more than two decades ago in the first round of the UEFA Cup, when Sporting Lisbon easily advanced with two victories, 6-2 on aggregate. Sporting CP has two wins and a draw in three head-to-head matches against FC Midtjylland.