Sporting vs Ajax: Ajax is set to challenge Sporting CP in their first match of the Champions League group stage at 3 p.m. ET September 15th at Estadio Jose Alvalade. There are 32 teams in the group stage divided into 8 groups; the winners and runners-up in each group will advance to the round of 16, the third-place teams will continue in the Europa League round of 32, and the losers will bid the tournament farewell. This is the first Champions League match of the season for both teams.
Ajax made it to the group stage last season but failed to advance to the knockout phase. In subsequent Europa League play, they made it as far as the quarter-finals but did not advance further. As for Sporting CP, they had to settle for an appearance in the Europa League, where they lost in the playoff round to LASK on an aggregate score of 0-0.
Given their more successful run in the Europa League last year, Ajax appears to have the advantage here; we’ll see if that holds up. For updates on this game and more, check back at CBSSports.