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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Preview Sporting - Lokomotiv.

Спортинг Locomotiva
Thursday, September 17th 2015
(Alvalade Stadium, Lisbon)
21:05 Sporting Lisbon - Lokomotiv Moscow

Referee: Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Matthias Winsauer (AUT)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Harkam (AUT) 
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Dominik Ouschan (AUT)
Fourth Official: Richard Hübler (AUT)
UEFA Referee Observer: Ilkka Koho (FIN)
UEFA Delegate: Christian Welander (SWE)

No precedents in the Europa League.

AbsentsDurica (injured), Sheshukov (injured).
In doubt: //.

Sporting: //.
Lokomotiv: //.

Streaming (available half an hour before the start of the match):

-NTV. Commentators: Misha Polenov.


Lokomotiv will finally return playing in the European football after the big failure of the last season against Apollon. The Russian Cup let the Cherevchenko's team to be directly qualified to the group stage, as a consequence 'Railroaders' could have prepared carefully the game against Sporting

Lokomotiv and Sporting have never faced each other in the European competitions, as a consequence it'll be an unique game. The precedents against Russian club aren't very good for Sporting: 1 victory, 1 draws and 5 defeats and they also have never won in Russia (1 draw and 2 defeats). At the same time, 'Railroaders' have never won in Portugal (2 defeats), winning only a match in Moscow. 

Sporting was eliminated from the Champions League by CSKA, so they'll certainly want to take a revenge against a Russian side. In the last two games of the Premeira Liga, Sporting defeated both Academica and Rio Ave, therefore their mood is very positive. 

In our last piece, "everything you need to know about Sporting Lisbon", we've underlined how Sporting changed its philosophy after the shocking arrival of Jorge Jesus, who can be considered as a guru of the Europa League. However, the Portuguese coach will have to face some problems. First of all, Joao Mario will miss the game as he was disqualified by UEFA after the red card he was given in the match vs CSKA. This is a big loss for Jesus, who should replace him with the Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani. Both in the defense and in the attack, Jesus should confirm the usual starting line-up. In particular, Cherevchenko should pay attention to the Algerian striker Islam Slimani and to the tricky winger André Carrillo, who is doubtful because he has got some problems with the President to extend his contract. 

'Railroaders', instead, should opt for the starting XI that defeated Krasnodar two weeks ago. Everyone hopes that Kasaev will recover for such an important match. Furthermore, we think the Tajik coach will prefer Kolomeytsev over Miranchuk in order to contain the Sporting's attacks. It's interesting to notice that Manuel Fernandes played together with Joao Pereira in Benfica as well as Logashov and Boussoufa with Ewerton in Anzhi

On the one hand, former Lokomotiv coach Mariano Barreto said: "I'd be a completely different game for Sporting compared to the one against CSKA. They usually play more offensively at home and so they've got a bigger probability to win the match. Lokomotiv? Of course, this isn't the same team I coached (he was the first foreign coach in the history of Russian Football). We played in the Champions League and in the 2003/2004 season we were defeated only by the future finalists of Monaco. I think Sporting will be the favorite."

On the other hand, current Lokomotiv's breeder Sergey Scherbakov stated: "Sporting has been eliminated from the Champions League, so they'll be angry against us. They play both an offensive and aggressive football. I think it'd be good to earn a point in Lisbon and then try to win in Moscow. I really hope we'll be able to fill up our Stadium."

Everyone agree that it'll be a very tough match for Lokomotiv, especially because the Alvalade has been an very strong venue for Sporting especially in Europe. Only Chelsea have managed to win in recent years. Now it's our turn. 

Sporting (4-2-3-1)
Rui Patricio 
Joao Pereira Naldo - Jefferson - Paulo Oliveira
Adrien Silva - Aquilani 
Carrillo - Ruiz - Gutierrez
Lokomotiv (4-2-3-1)
Shishkin -  Corluka - Pejcinovic - Denisov
N'Dinga - Tarasov
Samedov - Kolomeytsev - Kasaev

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