Tottenham vs Sporting predictions: Spurs to keep visitors at bay
Champions League Group D remains tight at the four-game mark, with Tottenham and Sporting doing battle on Wednesday night in a bid to push on into the last 16.
Leading the way with seven points, Spurs have the upper hand going into the contest with the third-place Portuguese side at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But the 2-0 defeat suffered against Ruben Amorim's men back in September will leave the North Londoners wary of a potential slip-up.
And in a competition where head-to-head records could weigh heavily on a team's fate, the importance of a positive result going into the final round of clashes cannot be understated for either side.
Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski remain out for Tottenham, the former with a calf issue that has seen him miss the Premier League defeats to Manchester United and Newcastle, the latter with a thigh problem that has kept him sidelined since the international break in September.
In more positive news, Cristian Romero and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are pushing for returns to action, though Wednesday night's encounter may come too soon for both.
Lucas Moura continued his own return from injury against the Magpies last Sunday, featuring for 25 minutes having also been introduced from the bench against Eintracht Frankfurt, Everton and United.
Sporting manager Amorim travels to London without the services of Daniel Braganca in central midfield and Luis Neto in central defence.
Winger Pedro Goncalves and left-back Ricardo Esgaio are suspended having been shown red last time out against Marseille.
Tottenham's preparation for this crucial clash has been far from ideal.
In falling to defeats at Old Trafford last Wednesday and at home to Newcastle on Sunday, Spurs have lost two games in a row for the first time since February.
Remarkably, they top the group despite scoring only five goals up to this point, one fewer than Sporting — and three of those came last time out against Eintracht Frankfurt in a 3-2 victory that could have ended quite differently, had the Germans been able to capitalise on the early advantage gained through Daichi Kamada's opener.
Antonio Conte's side are yet to open the scoring against 11 men so far in Europe this term — their 2-0 win against Marseille on Matchday 1 was facilitated by a 47th-minute red card for Chancel Mbemba.
Sporting's Champions League campaign is faltering after three red cards across two games brought about 4-1 and 2-0 defeats to previously winless Marseille.
They have won just three out of seven matches since the victory over Spurs and were dumped out of the Taca de Portugal by third-tier Varzim earlier this month.
It is difficult to label this match anything other than a must-win encounter for both teams.
Neither club has been able to lay down a clear marker so far and with bottom club Frankfurt still very much in the running, nothing can be taken for granted.
Even so, the pressure for Tottenham to kick on after a dip in Premier League form should be enough to spark the home side into gear.
Harry Kane has seven goals in nine games for club and country and can be backed at 13/5 with LiveScore Bet to open the scoring against Sporting.
The onus is on Spurs to take control in this one, as Marseille could be two points better off than the Londoners when they meet in game six in Provence, while Sporting host Frankfurt.
With that in mind, there is value in a Tottenham -1.5 win at 6/5 with LiveScore Bet.