Sporting v Manchester City: Europa League preview

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Sporting v Manchester City; Europa League; Estadio Jose Alvalade; Thursday 8 March 2012, 18:00 KO

Team News

Roberto Mancini will be without both Yaya Toure (suspended) and Pablo Zabaleta (hamstring) for tonight's trip to Lisbon, with Micah Richards in line for a recall to the starting line-up after missing Manchester City's weekend win over Bolton.

Carlos Tevez is back in training and scored for the reserves earlier in the week, but the Argentine striker will not feature as he is not registered for the Europa League competition, neither is Owen Hargreaves.

Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli is in the City squad, despite his recent fine for breaking a club curfew, and is set to start at Estadio Jose Alvalade this evening.

Sporting have come a long way in the Europa League this season, having topped their group and then beaten Legia Warsaw in the knockout round of 32.

Ricardo Sa Pinto's side are a competitive force and should not be taken lightly.

Patricio plots City surprise

Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patricio insists his teammates will approach tonight's Europa League last-16 encounter against Manchester City like any other game, and says the players hold no fear.

The Premier League leaders go into the match as strong favourites, but the Portuguese international believes that Roberto Mancini's charges could be set for a surprise if they fail to have done their homework ahead of tonight's clash.

"We don't worry about people considering the English club as favourite, and perhaps that can be a positive for us," Patricio told Sky Sports. "The match will be difficult because City are a huge club, but we have to be optimistic."

Sporting lost 1-0 to Vitoria Setubal at the weekend, while City recorded a comfortable victory over Bolton Wanderers, and remain two points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

However, Patricio believes that domestic form goes out of the window in European competition, and says that he and his teammates have already put their recent loss behind them.

"The defeat at the weekend is forgotten, we have learned from those errors and will not repeat them against City," he added. "Our goal is not to concede at home, that will make for a better match in Manchester."

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