Home » Europa League, Europe, Latest » EL Match Preview: Man City vs Sporting Lisbon

Manchester City are aiming to avoid any Europa League tears when they bid to overturn a one-goal deficit on Sporting at the Etihad Stadium.

Trailing to Xandao’s round-of-16 first-leg goal and having lost to Swansea to surrender the lead to Manchester United in the Premier League, things are not going to plan for City.

But manager Roberto Mancini has told his squad and fans this is no time to cry as the club bid to hold their nerve in the closing months of the season.

City’s daunting home record in Europe is a reason for confidence in the battle to reach the quarter-finals after going 16 games since suffering defeat to FC Midtjylland in the August of 2008.

Mancini’s men also boast a 100 per cent record at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League this season, although they have suffered defeats to United and Liverpool in the cups.

Sporting, who have won just once in their last eight European away games, will know they are facing a tough task and boss Ricardo Sa Pinto will likely have a defensive strategy.

But centre-back Xandao’s creative backheel helped Sporting on their way to a present record of five wins in their last six matches and they will not be pushovers for City, who have some injury problems.

Team News

Mancini is likely to be without Gareth Barry due to the back injury that has been troubling the England international over the past month.

The midfielder would join defenders Vincent Kompany (calf) and Pablo Zabaleta (hamstring) on the sidelines.

Joleon Lescott (groin) has a chance of making the bench, but striker Carlos Tevez is not registered to play in the competition.

Sa Pinto, who played for Sporting against James Milner, then of Newcastle, and Adam Johnson, then of Middlesbrough, in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup, will be without suspended right-back Joao Pereira.

A yellow card for the Portugal international in the first leg triggered an automatic suspension and he could be replaced by Bruno Pereirinha.

Sporting will also take encouragement from the improved performances of Jeffren after the former Barcelona winger scored twice as a substitute in Sunday’s 5-0 thrashing of Vitoria de Guimaraes.

The win kept Sporting in fourth position in the Portuguese top flight, which is led by Porto, who City defeated 6-1 on aggregate in the last 32 of the Europa League.

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