Chelsea's flying start in the Premier League which has seen them pick up 16 points from their opening six games was not matched in their first Champions League game two weeks ago.
On that occasion they drew 1-1 with Schalke at Stamford Bridge in a sluggish performance, and they will need to up their European game when they travel to face Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday.
The Portuguese side also drew 1-1 in their opening encounter against Slovenian side Maribor meaning Group G's sides are currently all tied up leaving everything still to play for.
Read on for a preview of the Blues' trip to the Estadio Jose Alvalade as well as full scheduling, television and live streaming information.
Date: Tuesday, September 30
Time: 7:45 p.m. BST, 2:45 p.m. ET
TV Info: Sky Sports 5 (UK), Fox Sports 2 (US)
Mourinho's Striking Issues
The clear problem in Chelsea's home draw with Schalke was a lack of clinical precision up front as Jose Mourinho started veteran Didier Drogba, with injury-concern Diego Costa left on the bench.
It seems that the Portuguese manager is not about to make the same mistake twice, as it looks as though Costa—who has eight league goals already this season—is set to start against Sporting, per The Guardian:
While this may cause problems for the Spaniard in the future—his hamstring issues are a consistent worry—in terms of Tuesday's match, Costa's presence will give Chelsea a significant edge.
His fast-blossoming relationship with Cesc Fabregas will provide Sporting with a real headache and if the Blues can reproduce their league form on Tuesday, they must be seen as favourites.
A win would be a big boost in terms of Chelsea's qualification prospects with all the teams currently tied up on one point, but the poor Schalke result has forced Mourinho's hand on the Costa issue.
The West London outfit face Arsenal on Sunday in the Premier League and the former Atletico Madrid striker's involvement in Lisbon may prove problematic for that clash.
However, Mourinho needs to claim a win against Sporting and with Costa in the starting lineup, that seems a likely outcome.
Including their result against Maribor, Sporting have drawn 1-1 in five of their seven matches so far this season.
Their other two matches have been victories, meaning they are unbeaten this term. Thus Sporting are not an easy team to break down, they are not an easy team to beat.
Their most recent result was a 1-1 league draw with Porto which they should have put to bed early on, per European football writer Andy Brassell:
Young defensive midfielder William Carvalho looked to be returning to his best form in that encounter and he will provide Chelsea's attackers with a considerable challenge as they try to break Sporting down.
Many of the Chelsea players will also be well aware of the potential dangers offered by Nani, the Manchester United loanee bagged a beauty from distance against Maribor, per Portuguese football writer Jan Hagen:
Sporting certainly have enough about them to frustrate Chelsea but whether they will be able to claim a victory is another matter entirely.
In a group where the other three sides will likely be fighting for second place behind the Blues, Sporting could end up rueing the fact they did not beat Maribor, the weakest of the four teams.
However, a victory over Chelsea would make Marco Silva's side genuine candidates to advance from the group as winners, a key factor for any side looking to go far in the competition.