Sporting Lisbon v Aberdeen: The lowdown on the Covid-affected Portuguese giants

Here is a guide to the side who stand in the way of the Pittodrie club reaching the Europa League play-off round.
Sporting's Brazilian midfielder Marcus Wendel.Sporting's Brazilian midfielder Marcus Wendel.
Sporting's Brazilian midfielder Marcus Wendel.


Sporting have been crowned champions of Portugal 18 times but last season

trudged home in fourth place, 22 points behind winners Porto after

winning just one of their final five fixtures.

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However, they have yet to get this season started after a coronavirus outbreak

hit the club. Nine players and three staff members, including manager

Ruben Amorim, have tested positive for Covid-19, leading to the

cancellation of their opening league game against Gil Vicente.

Thursday’s tie with the Reds has been given the go-ahead but Sporting

will have to turn to their fringe men and youth-team recruits for the

visit of Derek McInnes’ team to the Estadio Jose Alvalade.


Amorim will not be on the touchline tomorrow night as he continues to

self-isolate but he does have recent experience of taking on Scottish

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opposition. He took over at Sporting back in March just a week after his

former Braga side were dumped out of last year’s competition by

Rangers. He is now tasked with leading the Lions to a first league crown

in 18 years, but as a player he was best known for his nine-year stint

at city rivals Benfica, where he won three Portuguese league titles.


Aberdeen look set to face Brazilian midfield ace Wendel after Sporting were

reported to have turned down an undisclosed bid from Monaco for the

23-year-old, who has also been linked with Manchester United.

European record

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Sporting’s only European triumph came in 1964 as they defeated Hungary’s MTK

Budapest after a replay to claim the Cup Winner’s Cup, although they

came close to lifting the 2005 UEFA Cup before slumping to CSKA Moscow

in the final. They do not have the best record against against Scottish

clubs, winning just five times from 14 fixtures against Rangers, Celtic,

Dundee and Hibernian. They have only once got the better of Tartan

opposition over two legs, with future Hoops hero Jorge Cadete netting in

a 2-1 aggregate win back in 1993.

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