Match: Juventus v Sporting
Date: Wednesday, October 18
Time: 2:45 AM Thursday (SGT)/ 12:15 AM Thursday (IST)/ 7:45 PM Wednesday (BST)
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin
Live Stream: Starhub Go app (Singapore)
TV Info: Eurosport (Singapore)/ Sony Ten (India)/ BT Sport (UK)
Juventus will be aiming to pick up their second consecutive Champions League win when they play Sporting CP on Wednesday night. The two teams meet for the first time as both teams look to keep pace with Barcelona in the Champions League.
The Bianconeri were made to wait against Olympiacos till the 69th minute, as it wasn't until the introduction of Gonzalo Higuain that Juve could find a breakthrough. Mario Mandzukic made the result safe with a header at the far post 10 minutes from time, to hand the Old Lady a 2-0 win.
Sporting opened their first Champions League game by beating Olympiacos 3-2 away. Goals in the first half from Seydou Doumbia, Gelson Martins, and Bruno Fernandes gave the Portuguese outfit a commanding 3-0 half-time lead. However, Olympiacos rallied and scored twice in the last few minutes to make it an interesting finish, but Sporting held on to record their first Champions League away win in the competition proper, since December 2008.
The Lisbon side are coached by former Benfica manager, Jorge Jesus who was in charge when they faced Juventus in the Europa League, three years ago.
Sporting have not faced Italian opposition since losing to Lazio over two legs in the Europa League six years ago and have never won in the country in 13 attempts. They qualified for this year's Champions League after overcoming Steaua Bucurest in the final play-off qualifier 5-1 on aggregate, this coming after they finished 3rd in the Primeira Liga last season.
For Juve, though, it will be a case of not underestimating a team who have lost just once this season in all competitions; a 1-0 reverse to Barcelona thanks to Sebastian Coates' own goal.
Juventus will look to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Alex Sandro will return to the side, while it appears likely that Cuadrado and Mario Mandzukic will occupy the wide areas.
The Italian outfit will look to Paulo Dybala's movement and Miralem Pjanic's creativity to cause some havoc in Sporting's defensive third, who have been solid throughout the season.
Sporting CP possess a number of well-known, key players such as Portuguese internationals, Rui Patricio, Fabio Coentrao, William Carvalho and Gelson Martins.
Macedonian defender, Stefan Ristovski, was recently in action in Turin for his country as they held Italy to a 1-1 draw at Torino's Stadio Olimpico in World Cup qualifying, having also previously played in Italy.
The Portuguese club have also acquired some faces from Serie A. Bruno Fernandes played for Novara, Udinese and Sampdoria before making the switch to Sporting and Seydou Doumbia is on a season-long loan from Roma. They have an Italian in their ranks in right-back, Cristiano Piccini who was on the books of Fiorentina, before heading permanently to Real Betis and then onto Sporting.
Head to head
This will be the first official match between Juventus and Sporting who have only ever faced each other four times in pre-season friendlies. The most recent in 2011 in Toronto, Juve going down to a 2-1 defeat, with Alessandro Del Piero netting for the Bianconeri.
Juve are now 24 games unbeaten at home in UEFA competition and 20 games in the Champions League. Their record against Portuguese clubs currently stands at seven wins, two draws and four defeats.
The last time the Bianconeri faced Portuguese opposition was against Porto last season where they triumphed 3-0 on aggregate, beating Porto away from home 2-0 and 1-0 at the Allianz Stadium.
Sporting CP have never previously won in Italy. None of their last 13 Champions League matches have ended in a draw. They have also received more cards (9) and committed more fouls (36) than any other team so far in the Champions League.