José Mourinho will be expecting three points as his Chelsea side visit the club where he began his grounding in top-level coaching.
The young Mourinho began a long-standing partnership with Sir Bobby Robson at Sporting in 1992, progressing from a role as the Englishman’s interpreter to the position of assistant manager during a season and a half with the Portugese side.
Chelsea were underwhelming in their opening Champions League fixture, when a goal from Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar cancelled out Cesc Fàbregas’ opener, but remain unbeaten in all competitions and three points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Sporting currently lie in seventh place in the league, six points off early pacesetters Benfica. The Portugese club also drew their first match in Europe 1-1, against Maribor, with Nani's sumptuous strike providing Manchester United fans with a tantalising glimpse of the cutting-edge that has so often eluded him during his seven seasons at Old Trafford.
Although they go into the match as favourites, Mourinho’s side should be wary of their opponents’ fine European record against English clubs. Sporting have won their last three home clashes with Premier League opponents without conceding a goal, most recently in March 2012, when a 1-0 victory set up an aggregate victory over Manchester City in the Europa League quarter finals.
KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
The teams have never met before.
Diego Costa, Chelsea’s £32m summer signing, has scored eight league goals in his first six appearances in a superb start for his new club. He faces a late fitness test for Tuesday’s match.
Sporting are unbeaten in their last 16 home matches in European competition.
Chelsea have won their last six clashes with Portugese sides, each by a one-goal margin.
Chelsea made 149 passes in the attacking third in their opening match against Schalke – their opponents managed just 91.
Sporting to win: 5.0
Chelsea to win: 1.7
TV: Live on Sky Sports 5 at 7.45pm, highlights on Sky Sports 5 at 10.00pm and ITV1 at 10.40pm.
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