FC BASEL- SPORTING LISBON
I like the odds about the home win here. Portugese teams always give the competition huge respect, but Sporting have only a small chance to progress and are going to have to depart from their normal game plan and open up here , looking for the win and Basel are far better suited to an open game IMO. I suspect that Sporting having beaten Braga las week, will be giving their trip to Moreiense on Monday greater importance, as they have to get in touch with the top three at the very least, a midtable campaign is just not acceptable and they currently trail Braga by seven points, the top two by 13 ! That victory last week would have been welcome relief for coach Franky Vercauteren, the "Little Prince" took charge at the end of last month and that was his first win, I can see that he would like to keep the momentum up, but his priority has to surely be the league. Hosts have finally kick started their season and have won their last five starts, getting themselves to within touching distance of the top in the Super League and with a chance of progression in Europe, three points tonight would leave matters firmly in their own hand. They have to play Thun away on Sunday, but the hosts have collected just one point from six starts and Basel have not lost there in nine visits, so I think they can focus on Sporting just for now. Their new coach Murat Yakin had a far more immediate impact at the helm than Vercauteren, he made his name as a player on some famous european nights here at St.Jakob-Park and would love to bring a big name here in the later stages of the competition. Visitors arrive without suspended midfielder Stijn Schaars.1.25 units FC Basel -0.5 ball 2.11 asian line.
Sporting: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Victor Golas, Xandão, Marcos Rojo, Tiago Ilori, Cédric Soares, Emiliano Insúa, Daniel Pranjic, Médios: Elias, André Martins, Adrien Silva, Gelson Fernandes, Rinaudo, André Carrillo, Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Valentín Viola, Zakaria Labyad and Betinho