Sep 17, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Ljudski vrt
Maribor
1-1
Sporting Lisbon
Zahovic (92')
Tavares (22'), Ibraimi (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Nani (80')
Mauricio (42')

Preview: Maribor vs. Sporting Lisbon

Preview: Maribor vs. Sporting Lisbon
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League Group G clash between Maribor and Sporting Lisbon.

Maribor and Sporting Lisbon begin their 2014-15 Champions League Group G campaign with a clash in Slovenia on Wednesday evening.

Maribor have made the group stages of the competition for the first time in 15 years - when they failed to make it out of the section. They did reach the round of 32 in the Europa League last season, while they have a European title to their name – winning the Intertoto Cup in 2006.

The home side have already played seven matches of their domestic season, meanwhile, with 15 points from their seven matches leaving them in third position in the table.

Sporting, meanwhile, are in the group stages for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign, when they reached the round of 16. In total, this is their sixth group-stage campaign.

Sporting's recent away record in Europe has been disappointing, however, failing to win any of their last 10 games, losing seven times in the process. The Portuguese outfit have also made a slow start to their domestic season, taking six points from their four games to sit seventh in the table.

Maribor have no fresh injury concerns or suspensions ahead of the match. Marcos Tavares will captain the team from attack, while Jean-Philippe Mendy is also pushing for a start. Luka Zahovic is also expected to start, with the 18-year-old scoring five times in as many games for his club this season.

Sporting, meanwhile, have been without the services of Cedric since he suffered a back injury against Academica earlier in the season and the defender is expected to miss out once more.

Ramy Rabia is also said to be struggling with a muscular complaint, but should start in defence. Carlos Mane is also pushing for a start in attack alongside on-loan Manchester United winger Nani and Algerian international Islam Slimani.

Recent form

Maribor: DWWLW

Sporting: WDWDD

Possible starting lineups

Maribor: Handanovic; Rajcevic, Viler, Mejac, Arghus; Vrsic, Bohar, Sallalich; Tavares, Mendy, Zahovic

Sporting: Patricio; Mauricio, Jefferson, Sarr, Rabia; Martins, Esgaio, Carvalho; Nani, Mane, Slimani

Sports Mole says: 1-1

A dejected Jose Mourinho the Chelsea manager applauds the travelling fans following his team's 1-0 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on March 29, 2014
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