Top of Group D after three successive victories, Sporting CP welcome PSV Eindhoven knowing another win will take them through.
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Top of Group D after three successive victories, Sporting CP welcome a faltering PSV Eindhoven to Lisbon knowing that a fourth win on the trot will take them through to the knockout phase with a game to spare.
• Sporting have recovered well from an opening defeat in Eindhoven, winning 2-1 at home to LASK before doing the double over Rosenborg (1-0 h, 2-0 a). PSV, conversely, have stuttered after a promising start, taking only one point from their two games with LASK on Matchdays 3 and 4 and losing the second of those fixtures 4-1, after leading at half-time, to be joined by their Austrian conquerors on seven points, two behind Sporting.
• In the first ever competitive meeting of the clubs, on Matchday 1, PSV claimed a 3-2 victory over Sporting in Eindhoven.
• Despite that defeat Sporting have an impressive overall record against Dutch clubs (W11 D3 L3) and are unbeaten in the eight matches at home, winning the first six but drawing the two most recent – 0-0 against FC Twente in a 2009/10 UEFA Champions League qualifier and 1-1 against Heerenveen in the same season's UEFA Europa League group stage.
• PSV have played 13 UEFA competition matches against other Portuguese clubs, winning just three of them (D6 L4). Since beating Benfica on penalties in the 1988 European Cup final after a 0-0 draw in Stuttgart, the Eindhoven club have visited Portugal on five occasions and failed to record a victory (D2 L3), the most recent encounter, a 3-3 draw at Estoril on Matchday 5 of the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League, having to be extended into a second day after a downpour forced the game to be temporarily abandoned.
• Sporting qualified automatically for the 2019/20 group stage by winning last season's Portuguese Cup, a penalty shoot-out victory in the final against Porto adding to a third-placed finish in the Liga. They also reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they were knocked out by Villarreal.
• This is Sporting's ninth appearance in the UEFA Europa League proper – a competition record – and their seventh in the group stage, five of their previous six having brought further progress into the knockout phase. The Lisbon side's best performance came in 2011/12, when they reached the semi-finals.
• Sporting went a record 20 home games unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, in their first five seasons of participation (W13 D7) but have lost four of the 13 since, including a pair of 0-1 defeats last season to Arsenal and Villarreal. With wins this term against LASK and Rosenborg, their overall home record in the group stage now stands at W14 D4 L2.
• PSV ceded the Dutch title to Ajax last season, finishing runners-up, while also playing second fiddle to their Amsterdam rivals in the UEFA Champions League as they dropped out at the group stage, finishing bottom of a tough section comprising Barcelona, Tottenham and Internazionale.
• This season the Eindhoven club's UEFA Champions League hopes were extinguished early as they were beaten by Basel on away goals (3-2 h, 1-2 a) in the second qualifying round, but they recovered to knock Haugesund and Apollon Limassol out of the UEFA Europa League and reach the group stage for the seventh time. They have gone through to the knockout phase on four of the previous six occasions, reaching the quarter-finals in 2010/11.
• PSV were unbeaten in their first nine away games in the UEFA Europa League group stage (W7 D2), but they have lost five of the 11 since (W4 D2) and have subsequently gone nine games without a victory on the road during the autumn in the UEFA Champions League (D3 L6).
Links and trivia
• PSV winger Bruma started his career with Sporting, graduating from the club's academy to the first team. He is a Portugal national team-mate of Sporting's Luís Neto and Bruno Fernandes.
• Sporting became the fifth team to register 100 goals in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, when Sebastián Coates opened the scoring in their 2-0 win at Rosenborg on Matchday 4.
• PSV ended a six-match winless streak in all competitions by beating Heerenveen 2-1 at home in the Eredivisie last weekend.
• The son of a former player, Emanuel Ferro opted instead for a career in coaching that began at the age of 24 and led to a job with Benfica's youth team. Between 2014 and 2015 he had a spell abroad as the assistant coach to Malaysia and the head of Espérance de Tunis's youth sector before returning to Portugal to work at Sporting CP as assistant to the Under-14, B and U23 teams. He was briefly head coach of the latter, replacing Leonel Pontes, and now works alongside Silas in the senior side's current regime.
• A feisty, all-purpose midfielder whose playing career was festooned with honours, Mark van Bommel won the national championship of every country in which he played, adding a Liga crown – plus UEFA Champions League glory – with Barcelona, two Bundesliga triumphs with Bayern München and a Serie A title with AC Milan to four Eredivisie successes with PSV. Capped 79 times by the Netherlands, he retired in 2013 and returned to PSV as head coach in 2018 having assisted his father-in-law Bert van Marwijk's Australia side at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.