Despite giving up 24 goals in 5 matches, a win would see Legia continue their journey in Europe in the Europa League. Sporting won the original matchup in Lisbon 2-0 and will be expected to repeat it. Warsaw’s last home match in the Champions League saw them draw 3-3 with Real Madrid, so an upset is certainly possible. Bas Dost, while not quite repeating his blistering form from a couple years ago at Wolfsburg, has seven goals in the league, but only one so far in the Champions League. A more clinical performance from him should guarantee Sporting move into the Europa League.
Legia Warsaw are back in the Champions League for the first time since 1995-96 when they reached the quarterfinals. Formed as the official club of the Polish Army, they’ll be sporting army green away kits when they visit the Bernabeu. Last season, the eventual Polish champions were led by Hungarian striker Nemanja Nikolić, who scored 28 league goals last campaign. While it’s unlikely they’ll get out of the group, Legia’s average attendance is more than double the Polish league average, so expect noisy welcomes for European giants Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.
Sporting snatched away manager Jorge Jesus, regarded as the best in Portugal, from crosstown rivals Benfica, last year, but one season wasn’t enough for him to end their 14 season title drought. In the Champions League, they didn’t make it past the play-off round, so the group stage this year is an improvement, despite being drawn into a group with giants Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Algerian striker Islam Slimani left for Leicester after scoring 27 goals last season, so it may be Joel Campbell - on loan from Arsenal - who could step up. He’ll be backed by a strong Portuguese midfield including William Carvalho and Adrien Silva.
Scored 28 goals in 37 league matches in his first season at Legia Warsaw.
The journeyman keeper is a consistent presence in a heavily rotated Warsaw squad.
The Euro 2016 winner was linked to top EPL clubs over the summer, but stayed put and will be crucial in breaking up attacks in midfield.
The accurate passer is Sporting's captain and has been with the club since 2007.