Europa League Betting preview: Sporting Lisbon to beat Metalist Kharkiv

Carlos Freitas' side knocked Manchester City out of the Europa League earlier this month and Willie Duncan expects them build a first leg lead against Myron Markevych's men
Sporting Lisbon, conquerors of Manchester City in the previous round, will look to build a convincing first leg lead when they tackle Ukranian outfit Metalist Kharkiv in the Europa League quarter-final first leg on Thursday.

Sporting have home advantage in the first leg and Carlos Freitas' side will be confident of taking a lead into next week's game with bookmakers William Hill installing them as 23/20 (2.15) favourites to seize the initiative with a win here.
Metalist Kharkiv, though, will to look to build on their blossoming reputation after knocking out Greek side Olympiakos.

Trailing 1-0 from the home leg, Metalist won 2-1 in Greece to secure victory on away goals and William Hill chalk them up at 5/2 (3.50) to follow up with a win in Lisbon. The same firm rate the draw as a 9/4 (3.25) chance.

Netherlands striker Ricky van Wolfswinkle scored the goal which ultimately sent Manchester City spinning out of Europe and the in-form marksman is rated as a 9/2 (5.50) shot with William Hill to bag the opening goal on Thursday night.
Matias Fernandez scored in both the home and away leg against City and the dangerous Chilean midfielder will need to be carefully watched by Metalist. He is rated as a 8/1 (9.0) chance with William Hill to bag Thursday's opener which looks a seriously good price for value hunters after his previous displays.
Metalist Kharkiv will look to Argentine front man Jonathan Cristaldo, a 7/1 (8.0) shot to score first with William Hill and Ukrainian strike partner Marko Devic, 15/2 (8.50) to bag the opener with the same firm, to score the goals to fire them to victory.

Both Cristaldo and Devic have netted an impressive nine times this season and, following that win over Olympiakos, confidence is sure to be high.

Sporting, though, may well prove to be a much tougher assignment for Metalist Kharkiv. The Ukrainians have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven matches and Sporting should have enough quality to exploit any defensive frailty.
Thus, the 11/5 (3.20) quote from William Hill for Sporting to be leading at half time and full time is the value play here.

Bet of the Day

Sporting Lisbon to beat Metalist Kharkiv at 23/20 (2.15) with William Hill
Matias Fernandez to score first at 8/1 (9.0) with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter here.