Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester City: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted line-ups and ones to watch
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart (2nd left) watches his header go narrowly wide as he joins the attack watched by the Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patricio during a Europa League match at the Etihad Stadium on March 15, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Manchester City travel to the Portuguese capital on Tuesday evening to take on Sporting Lisbon for the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 showdown. 

Pep Guardiola’s side topped Group A with 12 points, while the reigning Liga NOS champions finished second in Group C behind Ajax, pipping Borussia Dortmund to second place. 

Team news

The City boss confirmed in his press conference on Monday that record signing Jack Grealish has not recovered from the injury which ruled him out of last Saturday’s win over Norwich. Further attacking options, Gabriel Jesus and Cole Palmer are also unavailable for the trip to the Jose Alvalade Stadium. 

Right-back Kyle Walker will also miss out through suspension.

As for Ruben Amorim’s side, they’ll be hopeful 23-year-old starlet, Pedro Goncalves will be fit and available for the contest. Goncalves has found the net 13 times this season, registering nine assists, but he has recently struggled with a muscular problem.

Predicted line-ups

Sporting Lisbon: Adan; Inacio, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Nunes, Palhinha, Reis; Sarabia, Paulhino, Goncalves

Manchester City: Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling

Ones to watch

João Palhinha

The hosts’ squad includes a handful of quality assets, but if the 19-time Portuguese champions are to keep last season’s finalists at bay, they’ll need the cool head of João Palhinha.

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The 26-year-old defensive midfielder has attracted interest from a whole host of clubs across Europe and was part of Fernando Santos’ Portugal squad for their Euro 2020 campaign. 

Palhinha excels in ball-playing from a deeper role, as well as intercepting opposition forward passes and tracking opposing midfielder runners – all qualities that will need to be on show to stop Manchester City. 

Phil Foden

As always with City, picking out a specific player is always difficult due to the star quality across every position. 

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However, with Sporting’s tight knit 3-4-3 formation, Phil Foden could be the key to allow City to get in behind. The 21-year-old’s movement in a false nine position is often faultless, allowing for forward busts for his teammates.

Previous meetings

Previously, the two sides have only met twice back in 2012 across a Europa League Round of 16 tie. In the dugout for City was current Italy manager Roberto Mancini, with both sides winning one game each. The English champions crashed out on away goals, with Sporting going through to the quarter-finals. 

Managers words

With City having won 18 of their last 20 games in all competitions, Pep Guardiola spoke about the mood within the camp.

“The harmony right now is exceptional. Thanks to the captains and for many reasons. Always, we have a good harmony in the teams. Otherwise, we would not have won what we have won.” 

Since coming to the Etihad Stadium in 2016, Guardiola has won 10 trophies and has surpassed Les McDowall’s record for most wins for a City manager. 

Although the Spaniard has been incredibly successful, one thing missing from his Manchester City CV is the precious Champions League – a trophy he and his players will be looking to go one step further for this time round. 

Where to watch on TV

Kick-off is at 20:00 GMT (8pm UK) on Tuesday evening, with the game available to watch live on BT Sport 2, BT Sport Ultimate, and the BT Sport App.

Coverage begins at 19:00 GMT (7pm UK).