The Basque outfit, conquerors of Manchester United and Schalke, will face a difficult task against a side with an exemplary home record in the competition
Pereira, Xandao, Polga, Insua
Izmailov, Van Wolfswinkel, Capel
Iraola, San Jose, Amorebeita, Aurtenetxe
De Marcos, Herrera
Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain
Sporting defender Daniel Carrico returns to the fold after missing the second leg of the quarter-final tie against Metalist due to suspension. Bruno Pereirinha and Oguchi Onyewu resumed full training last week but will most likely not feature in the starting lineup.
Jeffren Suarez is in doubt for the match because of fitness problems, while Fito Rinaudo and Alberto Rodriguez have been ruled out as they are still recovering from their respective injuries. Sporting coach Ricardo Sa Pinto will also not be able to count on Elias, who is ineligible for the continental competition.
Athletic coach Marcelo Bielsa has been boosted by the news that Iker Muniain is fit to play after missing the weekend match against Mallorca because of injury. Carlos Gurpegui flew with the rest of the team Lisbon after a six-month absence following a knee ligament injury, but he is expected to be left out of the match squad.
One significant blow for the Spanish side is the loss of Javi Martinez through suspension.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sporting Lisbon have won every match at the Estadio do Alvalade since Ricardo Sa Pinto took over from Domingos Paciencia.
- They have equalled Barcelona's record for the highest number of consecutive continental victories with the 2-1 win against Metalist last month.
- Athletic Bilbao lost to Sporting 4-2 on aggregate in the 1985/86 Uefa Cup third round, winning the first leg 2-1 at home before suffering a 3-0 defeat in Lisbon.
- Ricardo Sa Pinto's Sporting side have a record of five victories, five draws and eight defeats in previous matches against Spanish clubs.
- Athletic's record against Portuguese opposition, on the other hand, read four victories, one draw and one defeat.
- Marcelo Bielsa's side are on a five-game unbeaten run in Europe and have won four of their last six matches on the road since the start of the Europa League group stage.