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Having earned a goalless draw with nine men at Club Atlético de Madrid last week, Sporting Clube de Portugal coach Carlos Carvalhal hopes his side can keep their emotions in check in the decisive leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie in Lisbon.
Without the suspended Leandro Grimi and Tonel – both of whom were sent off in Madrid – the Lions will also be missing Yannick Djaló due to a thigh injury, but Carvalhal hopes that they have enough in reserve to deal with their Spanish guests. "We'll try to control our anxiety as well as [Atlético]," he said. "We want to qualify but have to respect our opponents. Regarding the absences in our team, I can only say that all the players who are fit are ready to play."
Keeping a clean sheet against a side that have beaten FC Barcelona and Valencia CF in the Liga as well as Galatasaray AŞ in Europe remained a decent achievement for Carvalhal, but he knows that the job is far from complete. "This will be a different game," he said. "We did well at their place. Even with ten men we were in control. This time, Atlético will play on the counterattack. That's nothing new; plenty of teams come here to play like that. The difference is that Atlético have great players."
With a full squad to pick from, Quique Sánchez Flores also expects a "different Sporting" from the side he faced in Madrid, noting: "They will want to have more possession and probe for holes in our defence, so they'll have a different approach. We have to be cautious and prepare for every situation." The coach would not say whether he will field Sergio Agüero as a lone striker or pair him with Diego Forlán, explaining: "It doesn't matter who plays. What matters is that whoever plays plays well. The players have to be confident and fit, whether it's Kun Agüero or Diego Forlán."
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