Real Madrid vs Sporting CP
UEFA Champions League – Group F
Date: Wednesday, 14th September, 2016,
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK,
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid.

Real Madrid start the defense of the UEFA Champions League title with a home games against Portuguese outfit Sporting on Wednesday night.

The Los Blancos have made a perfect start to the new season by winning in each of their first three league matches of the season. There is even better news for Zinedine Zidane as his start man Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to full fitness. And he looked sharp on his return and scored the first goal for his team in 5-2 rout of Osasuna at Bernabeu on Saturday.

Sporting were runners up in the Portugal’s Primeira Liga last season. And they are returning to the Champions League after missing out on last season. In their previous run at the tournament in 2014/15 edition, they failed to get pass the group stages. In their six previous appearance at the tournament they got past the group phase only once, when they reached the round of 16 in 2008/09 season.

The two other teams in Group F of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League are Legia Warsaw and Borussia Dortmund.

Real Madrid vs Sporting CP: Head-to-Head Stats

Their latest two meeting came during the group phase of 2000/01 UEFA Champions League, also the season where Madrid were defending the title. The first leg at Lisbon saw a thrilling draw in which Sporting were leading 2-0 before an own goal and a Roberto Carlos strike put the scores to level terms. While Real Madrid won the return leg at Bernabeu by a convincing 4-0 margin.

Sporting have a poor record in Spain and haven’t won in any of their 10 visits to the country, with 3 draws and 7 losses. At the same time, Real Madrid are unbeaten in 9 home matches against clubs from Portugal with 8 wins and a draw.

Real Madrid vs Sporting CP: Prediction

Real Madrid do not drop many points in the group phase of the Champions League and are efficient in starting their campaign with wins. Their last defeat at home in a group fixture has to be dated back to October 2009, when Milan steal points with a thrilling 3-2 win.

It is hard to see Sporting posing any sort of threat to Madrid here. I definitely believe the hosts are up for a big win on Wednesday.

Real Madrid vs Sporting CP: Betting Tips

Half Time/Full Time – Real/Real at 1.61 (8/13)
First Half Goals – Over 1.5 at 2.00 (1/1).