Sporting Lisbon and Eintracht Frankfurt will lock horns at Estadio Jose Alvalade with a Champions League knockout stage place at stake.
Both of these teams are only one point adrift of the top spot. So, a win will guarantee knockout stage progression for both teams.
Marcus Edwards cut an impressive figure in Sporting’s 2-0 victory at home over Tottenham, but he could not get his name on the score sheet.
The former Spurs man returned as a menacing force against the Lilywhites last week, and this time he did rattle the back of the net.
Tottenham equalised through Rodrigo Bentancaur ten minutes before the final whistle, but bringing a point back from the English capital was enough for Sporting to climb to the second spot in the table.
The current standings indicate that a point would be enough for Ruben Amorim’s men to qualify for the knockout stage regardless of the outcome of the Tottenham-Marseille clash.
Because of their superior head-to-head records against Spurs and Frankfurt, Lisbon will get the nod ahead of these two sides if all three of them finish the group stage with the same amount of points.
A disappointing 1-0 defeat to Arouca at the weekend did not make for the perfect preparation ahead of such an important Champions League match. But Amorim left out some of the key names so that he could deploy some fresh legs against Frankfurt.
Frankfurt kept the Champions League knockout stage door open with a crucial 2-1 win against Marseille.
Randal Kolo Muani and Daichi Kamada both scored within the first 30 minutes of the game to grant the hosts a 2-1 lead over their French opponents. Frankfurt kept hold of the lead till the end so that they could live to fight another day.
Oliver Glasner’s side must win against Sporting Lisbon on the road to progress to the RO16. If they can’t do so, their Champions League journey will be over, but they will continue to play continental football in the Europa League.
Like their Tuesday night hosts, Frankfurt will be entering the fray on the back of a league defeat. Die Adler saw their four-match winning run end on Saturday when they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund at the Deutsche Bank Park.
Now they face the challenge of bagging back-to-back wins in the top-tier European competition for the first time in 62 years when they travel to Portugal for a midweek Champions League clash.
Ricardo Esgaio and Pedro Goncalves will return from suspension, so Sporting boss Ruben Amerim can include them into the matchday squad. Luis Neto is yet to recover from his knee injury.
Daniel Braganca will also be an absentee for the home side as he is sidelined with a ligament problem. Hidemasa Morita and Paulinho are also in the medical room.
The visitors also have a suspension returnee as Tuta will walk back into the Frankfurt defence after serving a one-match ban.
Makoto Hasebe and Christopher Lenz will not be involved as they work their way back from long term injuries. But, Frankfurt can hope to include Ansgar Knauff to the travelling contingent.
Both teams have considerable firepower, but Lisbon might get the upper hand as they are the home side.
So, we believe Sporting will pick up a 2-1 win over their German opponents and make it to the RO16.