Marseille vs. Sporting Lisbon – prediction, team news, lineups

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Les Olympiens are bottom of Group D, losing their opening two matches of this competition without a goal thus far, while Leoes currently hold a 100% record and have yet to concede.

Match preview

Luis Suarez Charris celebrates scoring for Marseille on September 30, 2022© Reuters

The debut season for Igor Tudor at the helm of Marseille has been highly successful domestically, as his side have accumulated 23 points after nine matches.

That is their joint-highest tally at this stage of a top-flight campaign counting three points, tied with their 1990-91 season when they won the league.

Unfortunately, their form in Europe has been anything but successful, as they come into this match having lost 16 of their previous 17 Champions League encounters, failing to score in 11 games.

Not only has this competition caused them all kinds of suffering in recent seasons, but they have not had much success against Portuguese opposition either, losing six of their last eight Champions League fixtures against clubs from the Primeira Liga.

Their last triumph versus a side from Portugal came in the opening leg of the 1989-90 semi-final, beating Benfica 2-1 on that occasion when this tournament was known as the European Cup.

The current Ligue 1 runners-up, who traditionally build from the back and like to string together plenty of passes, have not been able to settle into much of a rhythm in their two Champions League matches this season.

That is mainly because their opponents have not allowed them to start their breakouts, as Marseille have suffered the second-most fouls so far in this tournament (31).

They have not lost a domestic fixture this season in which they have tallied the opening goal, though Les Minots have not scored first in a UCL affair since the 2011-12 campaign, which was the last time they made it into the knockout stage.

Marseille are unbeaten at home in this domestic campaign, conceding a goal or fewer in each encounter, while their last Champions League victory came at the Stade Velodrome in 2020-21, beating Olympiacos 2-1.

Paulinho celebrates scoring for Sporting Lisbon on September 13, 2022© Reuters

From a side who have been in a lengthy Champions League slump to one that have caught fire at this tournament, we have Sporting Lisbon, who come into this encounter having won five of their last six UCL affairs at this stage of the competition.

In 2021-22, Ruben Amorim‘s men put themselves in a challenging position from the get-go, losing their first two encounters at this competition before recovering to finish second in their group.

It looks like they learned a lot from that poor start as they have been sparkling after two matches this time around, blanking the reigning Europa League champions (Eintracht Frankfurt) 3-0 and following that up with a 2-0 victory versus Tottenham, a side who were undefeated in the Premier League before losing to Arsenal (3-1) last weekend.

All five of their goals scored in the 2022-23 Champions League have come in the second half, while they hold a 100% record both domestically and in Europe this season when leading at the interval.

Eight of their 11 tallies in league play have come on the road, while they opened this competition by collecting their first Champions League clean sheet away from home since blanking Basel 1-0 in December 2008.

Sporting have not faced any French opposition on the European stage since the 2010-11 Europa League group stage when they defeated Lille on two occasions (2-1 away, 1-0 at home).

Team News

Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring for Marseille on September 10, 2022© Reuters

Goals from Jonathan ClaussLuis Suarez and Gerson gave Les Olympiens a 3-0 win over Angers in league play on Friday as Pau Lopez picked up his fourth clean sheet of the season.

Since their 2013-14 UCL campaign ended, Marseille have only scored two goals at this stage of the competition, both coming courtesy of Dimitri Payet in 2020-21, Alexis Sanchez leads them with four goals domestically so far this season, one more than Nuno Tavares, while Clauss moved ahead of Matteo Guendouzi for assists, collecting his third and fourth of the campaign on Friday.

Sead Kolasinac will miss a few more weeks because of an unknown injury, Chancel Mbemba did not feature in their match against Frankfurt due to suspension, while Leonardo Balerdi made his first start of the competition in that defeat.

Paulinho scored the winner for Sporting in their 2-0 victory over Spurs and also set up the insurance goal from Arthur GomesPedro Goncalves collected his first assist of the competition, while Antonio Adan has yet to concede in two matches in between the sticks.

Goncalves scored the winner in their 3-1 league triumph over Gil Vicente on Friday, with the other tallies coming courtesy of Hidemasa Morita and Rochinha, while Marcus Edwards has three goals and two assists domestically for them on this current campaign.

The recovery timeline for Jovane Cabral remains unknown as he continues to deal with a thigh issue, Luis Neto is expected back from a knee problem in late October and Daniel Braganca will not be ready until early December because of a ligament injury.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Balerdi, Bailly, Gigot; Clauss, Guendouzi, Rongier, Gerson; Payet, Sanchez; Suarez

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Adan; Inacio, Coates, Reis; Porro, Ugarte, Alexandropoulos, Santos; Paulinho, Gomes, Goncalves

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