The Portuguese coach has never dealt very well with European competitions. Firstly, because it is a territory that runs away from control,
for not having the deep knowledge of the same that can get in the Portuguese League. Then, because it forces him to manipulate differentiated goals throughout the season,
a situation that requires greater management capacity and adaptability of speech and options depending on the context of the week.
After last year, before a tricky group, Sporting have been lost in the way of dealing with this reality, this season things may end up going the same way.
The draw in Moreira de Cónegos, with a team somewhat divided between the need to beat the Moreirense and the idea of receiving Barcelona, is a sign of the danger that Sporting runs.
With regard to Barcelona, the leonina team will face a high requirement, which will not allow it to be almost anything of what can usually be in the Portuguese League.
It will not be surprising, then, that Jorge Jesus prepare some adaptations to his eleven, which is usually his habit for this type of games.
However, is it realistic to believe that Messi will stop? Or that, stopping Messi, this will affect in some way the attack of Barcelona?
Sporting vs Barcelona prediction:
Recent experiences in the Spanish League say no.
Barcelona find answers to the problems they have to face and the rhythm of the game they are used to is far superior to what Sporting can impose on this match.
Hopefully, then, a low block game for Sporting, looking at its extremes the ability to throw some difficulties on the Catalan defensive.
But the story of the game will mainly depend on understanding how long you will be without Sporting a goal.