Teams: SPORTING CP & Portugal NT
Europa League|SPORTING 1-0 Lille OSC, Alvalade, 01.12.2010, Group C Round 5
Unfortunately I will miss this one as tomorrow by this time I'll be in Barcelona working...and hopefully having a few beers celebrating.
We just need a point to qualify and our home form in the EL group stage this season has been perfect but we're coming from a very hard match that left our most in-form player slightly injured (Jaime Valdés) and we are facing no more no less than Ligue 1 leaders.
Here's the the list of 20 players called by Paulo Sérgio for the game followed by UEFA.com match preview:
Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício and Tiago.
Defenders: Torsiglieri, Daniel Carriço, Polga, Evaldo, Cédric, Nuno André Coelho and João Pereira.
Midfielders: Pedro Mendes, Maniche, Jaime Valdés, Zapater, André Santos, Diogo Salomão and Vukcevic.
Forwards: Saleiro, Yannick Djaló, Hélder Postiga and Liedson.
High-scoring Sporting await Lille
The UEFA Europa League group stage's top scorers Sporting Clube de Portugal need just a point to seal qualification, but LOSC Lille Métropole will be on a Group C revenge mission in Lisbon.
• A draw would be enough for Sporting to reach the last 32, while Lille cannot qualify on Matchday 5, regardless of the result between KAA Gent and PFC Levski Sofia in the section's other game.
• Sporting won 2-1 in France when the sides met for the first time on Matchday 1, with Simon Vukčević and Hélder Postiga scoring before the break for the visitors and Pierre-Alain Frau getting one back after half-time. It was coach Rudi Garcia's first home defeat in his ninth UEFA club competition game as Lille boss.
• Sporting's record in 17 encounters with French opposition reads W6 D5 L6 (W4 D2 L2 at home).
• Lille have tackled Portuguese clubs five times – including two meetings with Sporting's neighbours SL Benfica – to produce a record reading W1 D2 L2 (W1 D0 L1 in Portugal).
• A 3-1 loss at Gent on Matchday 4 ended a four-game European winning streak for Sporting, who scored five goals in both of their previous Group C home fixtures.
• Lille have earned two draws and a victory since their Matchday 1 loss to Sporting and have drawn all three of their away fixtures in Europe this season – 0-0, 1-1 and, most recently, 2-2.
• The Ligue 1 outfit have gone seven matches without an away win in Europe since overcoming SK Slavia Praha 5-1 in last season's group stage.
• Sporting are the group stage's top scorers thanks to their 13 goals from four games, one effort more than both PFC CSKA Moskva and their Russian rivals FC Zenit St Petersburg.
• Sporting's next victory will be their 100th in UEFA club competition. This will be their 236th UEFA fixture.
• The next goal the Lisbon side concede will be the 300th scored past them in Europe.
• Former forward Paulo Sérgio never represented any of the top clubs in Portugal in his playing career, but slowly worked his way up as a coach, with spells at FC Paços de Ferreira and Vitória SC crucial to him replacing Carlos Carvalhal as the man in charge at Sporting.
• Lille coach Garcia represented the club as a midfielder at the start of his playing career, and has been back with Les Dogues since 2008 – though he was briefly released in June last year only to be rehired two weeks later. He has also coached AS Saint-Etienne and Le Mans UC 72.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”